What are “the excepted/exempted communications”?

The following are “Excepted or Exempted Communications” and are not, therefore, regarded as lobbying activities:

  • Private affairs: Communications by or on behalf of an individual relating to his or her private affairs about any matter other than the development or zoning of any land. This exemption will mean that a significant amount of constituency office communications will be exempt where the matter relates to an individual’s private affairs or is communications by a micro-business with less than 10 employees.
  • Diplomatic relations: Communications by or on behalf of a foreign country or territory, the European Union, the United Nations or other international intergovernmental organisations.
  • Factual information: Communications requesting factual information or providing factual information in response to a request for the information.
  • Published submissions: Communications requested by a public service body and published by it.
  • Trade union negotiations: Communications forming part of, or directly related to, negotiations on terms and conditions of employment undertaken by representatives of a trade union on behalf of its members.
  • Public safety and national security: Communications the disclosure of which could pose a threat to the safety of any person or to the security of the State.
  • Oireachtas committees: Communications which are made in proceedings of a committee of either House of the Oireachtas.
  • Communications by Designated Public Officials or public servants: Communications by a Designated Public Official in his or her capacity as such; Communications by public servants (or those engaged on contract by a public service body) made in that capacity and relating to the functions of the public service body.
  • Governance of Commercial State bodies: Communications by or on behalf of a commercial state body made to a Minister who holds shares in, or has statutory functions in relation to, the body, or to Designated Public Officials serving in the Minister’s department, and which are made in the ordinary course of the business of the body.
  • Policy working groups: Communications between members of a body appointed by a Minister, or by a public service body, for the purpose of reviewing, assessing or analysing any issue of public policy with a view to reporting to the Minister or public service body on it.   This exception only applies where the body is “a relevant body” and complies with the Transparency Code established by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (see below).