Stormont tenders website ‘put lives at risk’
The Department of Finance has removed information from a website after it was criticised for putting lives at risk by publishing names and addresses of civilians.
The information, which included the personal details of all businesses awarded tenders to provide work for the Department of Justice, was published on the Central Procurement Directorate website.
This included the names and addresses of civilian security contractors who were major targets of republicans during the Troubles.
Eight Protestant civilians who had been working at an Army base in Omagh were killed in 1992 in an IRA landmine attack on their van near Cookstown.
The department said it had made this information public in the interests of “openness and transparency”.
But following inquiries by a Newry courthouse contractor and the BBC it decided to temporarily remove any information relating to civilian contracts until a review of policy is carried out.
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley jnr condemned the release of the information, which he said was of no importance to the public.
“I hope that Government departments start to recognise that this constant pursuit for so-called freedom of information, so-called transparency, unless it is properly balanced, actually leads to so much information being out there that it is dangerous and in this instance could have endangered lives,” he said.
“It’s information that the public do not actually need to have.”