Proposal to filter emails to TDs

Proposals to filter emails sent to TDs and prevent “waste” from clogging up mailboxes are being considered following a recent avalanche of complaints.

An overhaul of email systems for members was discussed behind closed doors in recent weeks by an Oireachtas committee charged with recommending changes and savings for Leinster House.

Several TDs told the Irish Examiner they have received hundreds of complaints by email, sometimes in one day, with proposed online copyright laws, septic tanks, the Vatican and Anglo Irish Bank among issues which have clogged up systems.

Charles Hearne, head of ICT at Leinster House, gave a presentation to members of the Joint Administration Committee and said restrictions could be made to email systems.

One committee member, wanting to remain anonymous, said: “There’s a lot of irrelevant stuff for us, or members who do not want it coming in. ICT are teasing it out and asked us if we are prepared to make decisions. If changes are made it will have to be across the board.

“Some TDs felt that if we did that it would interfere with people’s right to protest, to democracy. If we blocked some, there’s a fear we could be accused of censorship.”

Any such restriction would require agreement of all TDs, and only after recommendations are sent to the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.


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