Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Mairéad Farrell TD, has written to Minister Michael McGrath calling on him to withdraw the nomination of former Fianna Fail Senator and lobbyist Geraldine Feeney for the vacant position on the Standards in Public Office Commission.
Teachta Farrell said:
“Since the summer I have been calling on the government to fill the vacant positions on the Standards in Public Office Commission, so that it can carry out all its duties in helping to maintain ethical standards in public life.
“It has now come to my attention that the Government is considering appointing Geraldine Feeney to the board of SIPO.
“Ms Feeney was a registered lobbyist for the NAGP, an organisation which has been linked to the leaking of a confidential document. She was involved in the lobbying efforts around the leaked GP contract. Considering that SIPO itself could soon be investigating matters involving her former employer, I think her appointment is entirely inappropriate.
“I have today written to Minister Michael McGrath calling on him to withdraw her nomination immediately, in the interests of public trust and confidence. SIPO as a regulator has the potential to hold politicians and civil servants to account.
“However, despite SIPO making countless requests to extend and increase their investigative and sanctioning powers, these have been largely ignored.
“I will be bringing forward legislation this month which will increase the scope and scale of SIPO’s powers, with a view to bring greater accountability for politicians, Ministers and those engaged in public life.”