Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Government Information Services.

61.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will give details of the present staffing of the Government Information Services; and if he is satisfied that the service provided is adequate.

62.

asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware that there is considerable difficulty in eliciting information through the Government Information Services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 61 and 62 together.

The following is the staffing of the Government Information Services:— Assistant Secretary, Department of the Taoiseach who is responsible for Government Information Services; Two Assistant Directors; One Assistant: One Personal Assistant to the Assistant Secretary; Five Information Assistants; Five Clerical Assistants. The service which the Government Information Services provides is designed primarily to facilitate the media. I am satisfied that the service provided is satisfactory.

The Minister said the information provided by this service was primarily for the media. Is it provided for anybody else?

The Government Information Services provide a certain amount of information if sought by public representatives but that is really a by-product of its main function which is to service the media.

Is the Minister aware that at times there is considerable difficulty in eliciting information from the Government Information Services, as I explained in my question?

I am not so aware.

I have written already to the Minister telling him there is considerable difficulty in eliciting information. Even though there are five information assistants there, is he aware that they are not always available to give the information? On one occasion when I phoned them only one man was there who said he was too busy.

I am aware that a paper, The Medical Times, which I take it is the one the Deputy is referring to——

I am speaking in my capacity as a public representative.

I am in difficulty here because the Deputy refers to a certain case. If, as I believe, it is the case of The Medical Times, that is the one to which I would have to refer. If it is not that case I should like particulars of what case it is.