October 13, 2021
Mairéad Farrell TD and Pearse Doherty TD Regulation of Lobbying (2020) bill begins pre-legislative scrutiny today

Today pre-legislative scrutiny began on Teachta Mairéad Farrell and Teachta Pearse Doherty’s new Regulation of Lobbying bill. This bill was introduced following the public outcry that resulted from former Junior Finance Minister Michael D’Arcy’s attempted breach of the lobbying cooling off period, when he tried to move to the lobbying organisation of the Irish Funds industry.

Teachta Farrell said:

“I’m delighted that our bill began pre-legislative scrutiny today. This bill enacts 13 of the recommendations that the Standards Commission (SIPO) had previously made to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It would make a breach of the cooling off period an offence under the act and allow SIPO to properly investigate this.

“Our bill would enact many of the recommendations that SIPO made. First in 2016 and then again in 2019. Minister McGrath has called for a review of the legislation, much as he did with the Freedom of Information act. But a review is not needed. We know where the problems lie. They were identified a number of years ago. We know what needs to be done.

“This bill provides many of the solutions to the Regulation of Lobbying act’s shortcomings. So let’s get it done.

“Others like to say that we don’t offer solutions. Well here we are again offering clear, detailed and deliverable solutions which will make a real difference to accountability and transparency in this state.

“Today Professor Gary Murphy told the Finance Committee that the enactment of this bill would not only improve transparency and accountability, but it would also improve Ireland’s international reputation- something which is badly needed. So why is the Minister trying to kick the can down the road, and risk missing an opportunity to start repairing our international reputation?”

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