In the comments on my piece on Irish Water, Paul Hunt reports back from his attempt to get the costings for water metering etc from the PWC report. This request was refused as it would be “commercially sensitive”.
To cite Paul, this is balderdash.
Irish Water will be 100% state-owned. Citizens of Ireland (of two of which I am the legal guardian) have the right to know what is going on in a company they (will) own.
Ireland is an unwilling party to the Aarhus Convention, which grants access to data except “where such confidentiality [of commercial and industrial information] is protected by law in order to protect a legitimate economic interest”. As Irish Water will be a monopoly, I do not think there is a “legitimate” economic interest in hiding data.
Unfortunately, state-owned companies have made a habit of hiding behind “commercial sensitivity” when there is none.