Politicians' Oireachtas web access records confidential
on 21/10/2013 00:00:00
This information was to include files relating to TDs and Senators, and their staff, and the top 10 IP addresses involved.
However, the Oireachtas Freedom of Information unit's response failed to provide the information.
In correspondence sent out with the response, an Oireachtas FOI official said that no information on politicians or their staff could be made available due to party confidentiality rules. This effectively means there is no oversight on the computer records of TDs or Senators.
IP addresses - which would at least indicate the office from which the banned website access originated - were also not provided, on the grounds that Leinster House uses a roaming IP address system.
The response was also limited to just four months instead of the past five years as, the official said, no files are kept beyond the four-month period.
However, it is worth noting a similar difficulty occurred in Britain's House of Parliament and House of Lords earlier this year.
In early September, the Huffington Post website sought records relating to the internet use of MPs and Lords, finding a plethora of similar issues as those revealed in Leinster House.
However, while overall figures were provided, no breakdown was allowed for how politicians used the equipment.
The reason, according to a Westminster spokesperson, was straightforward. "We are not going to restrict Parliamentarians' ability to carry out research," she said.