The Department of Children and Youth Affairs was advised by a data protection consultancy not to use the Public Services Card as a mandatory requirement for accessing the new National Childcare Scheme as to do so would risk breaching the constitutional rights of children.
A stormy meeting on the controversial Public Services Card this morning saw Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty say her department would take their objection to accusations of illegality levelled at the card “as far as it takes to vindicate our position”.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs was ordered to make the public services card (PSC) the only way for people to access the new National Childcare Scheme as it did “not make sense” for the department to be allowed to develop its own application system.
The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has criticised one of the country’s most senior civil servants for making “zero effort to answer the questions” posed by the committee regarding the Public Services Card.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection did not share the interim adversarial findings of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) regarding the Public Services Card (PSC) with any affected bodies apart from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. This was despite being specifically asked and in a position to do so.
The Department of Social Protection’s rejection of the recent highly critical findings of the Data Protection Commissioner regarding the Public Services Card has been struck a perhaps fatal blow with the news that the Commissioner will not be engaging further with them.
Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said that based on their own legal advice, her department does not accept the findings of the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the Public Services Card.
The Government’s decision to challenge the Data Protection Commissioner’s highly adversarial rulings on the Public Services Card has been condemned as “ludicrous” and “incredibly bizarre”.
The Public Services Card (PSC) will be the only way by which parents can access the new National Childcare Scheme when it goes live in October, despite a ruling from the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) that the card is unlawful when applied to State services other than welfare.
A number of the bodies involved in the Public Services Card expansion have said they will be talking to the Department of Social Protection on how best to approach the Data Protection Commissioner's recent adverse ruling in relation to the card.