Advisory Group Meeting – 4 May 2016

Record of main issues

Attendance List:

Sherry Perreault (Chairperson), Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPOC); Aidan Moore, SIPOC; Damien Egan, SIPOC; Niamh O’Byrne, SIPOC; Jim O’Keeffe, SIPOC; Joyce Nolan Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER); Martin Wallace, Dovetail

Ivan Cooper, The Wheel; Sheila Nordon, ICTR; Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland; John Carroll, PRII & PRCA; Bryan Rankin, Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies; Siobhán Masterson, IBEC; Paul Gordon, Irish Cancer Society; Joan Martin, CCMA; Denis Barry, Revenue Commissioners; Martin Lambe, Irish Tax Institute; Elaine Farrell, Irish Farmers’ Association; Cormac Ó’Cúláin, Law Society; Pat Galvin, Eircom

Apologies: Shirley Coulter, Bar Council; Sean O’Leary, Irish Planning Institute; Niall Shanahan, IMPACT; Justice Daniel O’Keeffe, SIPOC; Madeleine Delaney, Legal Advisor

Sherry Perreault provided an update on events since the last meeting.

  • Sherry Perreault began by welcoming Joyce Nolan who will be the replacement for Áine Stapleton as the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) representative on the Advisory Group.
  • Follow up from the first returns period is ongoing.
  • Outreach events will continue and it is intended to tailor outreach to key sectors and sectors not represented on the Advisory Group.
  • A guidance note on, “Hide personal information”, requests has been sent for translation and will be added to the FAQs on as soon as possible.
  • It was confirmed that there would be no further IT/technical developments in advance of the May deadline due to time constraints.
  • The details of the new government information will be updated on the system as soon as it is announced.
  • The term, “professional lobbyist” has been removed from the website and replaced with, “third party”, in order to prevent confusion.
  • Sherry Perreault explained that there had been ongoing confusion over the need to register if the lobbying had taken place overseas. She confirmed that the Lobbying Unit had been very consistent in its coverage on this topic. The query that has been repeatedly raised was whether lobbying fell within jurisdiction rather than within borders. Sherry Perreault confirmed that she had spoken to the Department of Foreign Affairs and they have now assured her that they have clarified the issue with their permanent representatives.
  • Sherry Perreault informed the group that queries by telephone and email were increasing as per the last return deadline however she did not expect the same number of new registrants as there had been with the first return deadline.
  • The Annual Report is being drafted and will be before the Oireachtas by the deadline of 30 June 2016.

Joyce Nolan, Update from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER):

  • DPER is awaiting the appointment of the new Minister and subsequently what actions that Minister will want to prioritise.
  • DPER have a SI (statutory instrument) pending but are awaiting the Minister’s appointment.

Members of the group followed the update with queries for the Lobbying Unit and also provided feedback on implementation matters and issues of concern that they had.

A query was raised as to lobbying that took place during or immediately after the 2016 general election. Sherry Perreault informed the group that this query had been addressed in a FAQ on the website.


Next Meeting – Provisionally the end of June 2016.