The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (no 5 of 2015) (the Act) was signed into law in March 2015, and commenced on 1 September 2015.
Lobbying is an essential part of the democratic process through which citizens may make their views on public policy and public services known to politicians and public servants. Organisations such as interest groups, representative bodies, industry and civil society organisations, NGOs, charities and third party professional lobbyists all provide necessary input and feedback to politicians and public servants through communication of their views and concerns. The aim of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 is not to restrict the flow of information or views on policy or legislation. The intention is to bring about significantly greater openness and transparency with respect to lobbying activities.
The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 is designed to provide information to the public about:
In general, the Act applies to commercial organisations which have more than 10 full time employees; representative bodies with at least one full time employee; and advocacy groups, non-governmental organisations and charities which have at least one full time employee and which promote particular interests or causes, and professionals engaged in lobbying on behalf of a client who fits within the above criteria . In certain circumstances, the Act may apply to individuals and groups who may not ordinarily regard themselves as carrying on lobbying activities.
The Act aims to make lobbying more open and transparent by providing for
The imposition of a cooling-off period on certain lobbying activities that may be carried out by some former public officials.