The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has published submissions on the Regulation of Lobbyists. The main recommendations from TI Ireland are:
- Introduce a statutory Public Affairs Register that requires any individual, or organisation, that has been offered or received income to influence legislation or public policy in any given three month period to file an online return to the Standards in Public Office Commission.
- Publish all such returns on the Public Affairs Register which can be easily searched by the field of Agent, Principal (client), Subject (issue), documentation, and financial data. This data should be in open data format to allow for easier interpretation and analysis.
- Empower the Standards in Public Office Commission with adequate resources and legal authority to randomly audit returns and to appoint an Inquiries Officer to conduct initial inquiries into prima facie anomalies on the basis of, or equally in the absence of, a prior complaint.
- Provide criminal and civil penalties for knowingly filing a false return or failure to file a return.
- Provide proportionate moratoria or ‘cooling-off periods’ for all former Office Holders and certain former Public Officials and Public Representatives which limit their opportunities to secure income in return for informing or influencing public policy.
The full submission from TI Ireland can be read here.