The position is that the higher education institutions are autonomous bodies and their day to day operations are matters for the governing bodies of each institution. However, I understand that universities and institutes of technology have procedures in place to ensure that research undertaken, including the treatment of confidential information, is in keeping with accepted good practice. Indeed, many have dedicated ethics committees to oversee issues such as this. Furthermore, a policy statement on ensuring research integrity in Ireland will shortly be launched and articulates the commitment of higher education institutions to the highest standards of integrity in carrying out their research. This shared statement of commitment is intended to ensure full confidence in the Irish research system for participants, other stakeholders and the international research community.