Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Mairéad Farrell has welcomed Minister McGrath’s announcement that he would be bringing proposals to cabinet to amend the law in relation to lobbying by former ministers and civil servants.
It has also been mooted that the scope of the lobbying legislation will also be widened to bring certain non-remunerated office holders within the Lobbying Act’s remit, in addition to including anti avoidance measures.
Teachta Farrell said:
“I welcome the fact that the government has finally woken up to the reality that our lobbying legislation is not fit for purpose.
“The case of former Junior Finance Minister Michael D’Arcy’s attempted move to the Irish Funds Industry’s lobbying group, in breach of the ‘cooling-off’ period, brought this into sharp focus.
“That is precisely why myself and Deputy Pearse Doherty introduced our Regulation of Lobbying bill (2020). The bill enacts 13 of the recommendations that were made by the Standards Commission (SIPO) itself.
“If the government wants to show that it is serious about closing the revolving door between politics and business, then there is a very simple way to do this – enact the lobbying bill brought forward by myself and Pearse Doherty.
“Minister for State Ossian Smyth is already on record as having acknowledged the important improvements that our bill could bring.
“I am therefore calling on Minister McGrath to commit to supporting our bill when it gets a second hearing after the summer recess.”