Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Departmental Inspectors.

230.

asked the Minister for Local Government if it is the practice of his Department to withhold the names and addresses of inspectors engaged on housing, water and sewerage schemes from Members of the Oireachtas seeking such information; and the reason for this practice.

It is assumed that the question relates to private housing, water and sewerage grant works. It is not the practice to withhold the names of inspectors engaged on this work from Members of the Oireachtas seeking such information.

It is, however, the practice to withhold the addresses of the inspectors, because it is felt that correspondence should more appropriately be addressed to my Department rather than to inspectors and that they should not be required to meet members of the Oireachtas or the general public at their private residence.

Inquiries about particular cases may be made directly to my Department, which will contact the inspector concerned, where necessary.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this Deputy was even trying to find out the name of the inspector and that he was refused it by officers of his Department? I happened to be there at the particular time listening to him and he could not get it.

That is not my information. My information is that the name was requested and it was given. The supplementary question was: "What is his address?" That was refused, but the inspector in question was written to immediately and asked to deal with the case.

I should like to bring to the Parliamentary Secretary's notice that that information is completely wrong. He asked even for the name and he was told there were instructions not to give the name. He then said he would get it by ringing somebody in the area who had a telephone. He there and then got the name and address but not from an official in the Department. I was present while all this was going on. The Parliamentary Secretary should not be misled. The people in his office should tell him the truth.