The Act provides that certain DPOs are restricted from being engaged in lobbying in certain circumstances for a year after they leave their employment or office unless they get permission from the Standards Commission – in effect, they are subject to a “cooling-off” period.
The DPOs concerned are Ministers and Ministers of State, special advisers and prescribed public servants. We refer to these persons as “relevant DPOs.
Others who are DPOs for the purposes of the lobbying registration requirements are not covered by this provision, that is, TDs, Senators MEPs and Local Authority members.
Relevant DPOs who are covered by this provision may not:
These circumstances are where the lobbying activity:
A relevant DPO may apply to the Standards Commission for consent to engage in such lobbying. The Standards Commission may decide to give consent unconditionally or give consent with conditions attached. The Standards Commission may also refuse to give consent for all or part of the cooling-off period.
A relevant DPO who is unhappy with the decision may appeal.
The Standards Commission has published additional guidance for the benefit of any persons seeking to apply to waive or reduce their cooling-off period.