The Oireachtas Committee on Health has set a deadline of midday tomorrow for Minister Stephen Donnelly to release to it a Senior Counsel report into whistleblower allegations that his Department complied dossiers on children with autism for litigation.
In a letter, Committee Chair Sean Crowe said the report should be released to the whistleblower, Shane Corr, as soon as possible "as a matter of urgency."
Mr Crowe wrote to the minister: "The Members of the Joint Committee noted with regret and concern that you had not yet replied to the Committee's email correspondence to you of last Friday evening, 26th March."
The letter sets out six points it wants Minister Donnelly to deliver:
1. A briefing note clarifying the exact role of the Senior Counsel in this respect.
2. A note clarifying and assuring the Committee as a matter of urgency that full disclosure of all records concerning the children and their families has been given to the parents concerned.
3. Assurance that there are appropriate data protection policies and procedures in place in the Department of Health and the HSE, and that as of 26 March 2021, only those officials working on such cases have access to such sensitive information, and that it cannot be accessed by other staff members working within the Department.
4. An information note outlining the length of time that the practice of the sharing of confidential information has been operating, how long this information has been retained on the Department's systems and how this information was gathered and subsequently used.
5. A note addressing the assertion that the information is still being gathered, even though the cases are dormant, and whether this practice has since effectively ceased.
6. A note indicating what other government departments and State agencies the Department of Health is sharing information with.