Standards in Public Life
There is a wide range of legislation in place to help the public be more confident in the way Ireland is governed. The following is a list of legislation and organisations which provides this assistance.
- Conflicts of interest are currently regulated at national level by the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (‘the Ethics Acts’)
- at local authority level by the Local Government Act 2001 (Part XV)
- and the recently published Department of Public Expenditure and Reform - Public Sector Standards Bill 2015
Disclosure of Donations / Expenditure
Money spent and donations received by public representatives (T.D’s Senators etc.) and political parties are controlled by the Local Elections (Disclosure of Donations and Expenditure) Act 1999 and the Electoral Act 1997.
Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015
The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 established a web based registration system of lobbying activity which will tell us “Who is lobbying whom and about what?”
The Register provides the public with information on the identity of those who are communicating with Government and senior civil and public servants on public policy matters.
Code of Conduct for Local Authority Employees/Councillors
The Codes (issued by the then Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government) sets out the standards of conduct and integrity for local authority employees and councillors. They set out the level of behaviour the public is entitled to expect from local authority employees and councillors and aims to keep public confidence in local government.
The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO)
The Standards in Public Office Commission is an independent body established in December 2001 by the Standards in Public Office Act 2001. It has six members and is chaired by a former Judge of the High Court. Its functions include:
- supervising the disclosure of interests of public representatives and their compliance with tax clearance requirements;
- the disclosure of donations and election expenditure; the expenditure of state funding received by political parties;
- the registration of lobbyists.