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Government seeks experts to ensure Mother and Baby Home redress scheme doesn't break GDPR rules

The successful applicant will have to ensure the operation of the scheme is fully compliant with all national and EU data protection laws.

THE GOVERNMENT IS seeking data protection experts to help roll out its Mother and Baby Home redress scheme.

The controversial scheme, which passed a vote in the Dáil last night, is expected to open to applications later this year.

The Government said it needs “specialist expertise in Data Security, GDPR and Data Protection” on an ongoing basis to support the Department of Children as it establishes the redress scheme for survivors of mother and baby institutions.

The Government put the contract out to tender on Tuesday and the deadline for applications is 14 March.

The contract – which is estimated to cost €139,000 excluding VAT – will run for two years with a possible extension of two further six-month periods.

The Government said it is not bound to accept the lowest priced tender.

The successful applicant will have to ensure the operation of the scheme is fully compliant with all national and EU data protection laws, regulations and guidelines.

The Government will be a Data Controller in respect of any personal data submitted by survivors or relatives who are applying for redress under the scheme.

Once the scheme opens, it is expected that people have up to five years to apply for redress.

Dáil debate

The redress scheme passed a vote in the Dáil last night and will now be debated in the Seanad.

Around 34,000 people will be eligible to apply for redress under the scheme, which is estimated to cost around €800 million. However, some 24,000 survivors are excluded from the scheme.

Many survivors, legal experts and members of the Opposition have been very critical of the fact the scheme excludes people who spent less than six months in an institution as a child.

The scheme also does not specifically cater to people who were boarded out as children, a precursor to fostering; people who were subjected to vaccine trials; and people who experienced racism or other discrimination in the system.

There have been repeated calls, nationally and internationally, for the scheme to be extended. Some amendments to the Bill may be accepted in the Seanad but, as it stands, the legislation is expected to pass without any major changes to its scope.

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