Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan this morning called for a debate over proposed appointments to the Standards in Public Office Commission, after one of the nominees was identified as having previously carried out lobbying for the National Association of General Practitioners.
Speaking in the Seanad this morning Senator Gavan said:
“Sinn Féin will not be accepting this being passed without any discussion whatsoever, and neither should anyone else in this chamber.
“The Seanad Order of Business stated that a motion regarding the appointment of the Chairperson and an Ordinary Member to the Standards in Public Office Commission would be taken without debate.
“Unless you’ve been in a coma for the past fortnight you will know that the Tánaiste, when he was Taoiseach, passed on a confidential document to the then head of the NAGP. We also know that a TD has lodged a formal complaint over this action with SIPO.
“And today we see the Government wishing to appoint a former professional lobbyist for the NAGP to SIPO without any debate. The person in question only ever lobbied for one organisation, and that was the NAGP. I understand that she lobbied on no less than 8 occasions for the NAGP in the years 2017 and 2018.
“The Sinn Féin Seanad team pushed the issue to a vote. But Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green Senators combined to prevent any debate on the issue.
“This is of course yet another example of the cosy insider club that operates across the body politic. Indeed it appears that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been operating an arrangement for years whereby they take it in turns to fill this position with one of their own each time it comes around.”