28 November 2018
For Immediate Release
Standards in Public Office Commission publishes its Code of Conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activities under the Regulation of Lobbying Act
The Standards in Public Office Commission today launched a Code of Conduct under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015. The Code, which comes into effect on 1 January 2019, sets standards of conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activities.
Speaking at the launch, the Commission’s Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation, Sherry Perreault said,
“The information on the Register shows what lobbying activities have taken place, and it is an important tool to ensure transparency surrounding decision-making. The Code serves a different, but complementary purpose. The Code seeks to provide guidance to those lobbying on how to do so in an ethical and transparent way. It seeks to ensure that lobbying is conducted with honesty, integrity, and respect for the institutions and people being lobbied.”
The Code was developed using a public consultation process, having regard to other models and to international best practice. The consultation process, which was launched in June 2018 and completed over the summer, yielded a total of forty responses. Submissions were received from Government Departments and public bodies, from other regulatory bodies, from representative bodies and advocacy bodies, and from other organisations and individuals, including registrants.
The Commission chose to defer development of a Code of Conduct until the Act had been fully commenced and implemented. While most provisions of the Act commenced on 1 September 2015, the Act’s enforcement provisions did not commence until 1 January 2017.
The Code will be reviewed every three years, in keeping with scheduled statutory reviews of the Act.
The Code sets out eight principles by which persons carrying on lobbying activities may conduct their lobbying activities transparently and ethically. Anyone lobbying, including employers, third parties, representative or advocacy bodies and individuals alike, must have regard to the Code when communicating with public officials.
The Code’s eight principles are:
1) Demonstrating respect for public bodies;
2) Acting with honesty and integrity;
3) Ensuring accuracy of information;
4) Disclosure of identity and purpose of lobbying activities;
5) Preserving confidentiality;
6) Avoiding improper influence;
7) Observing the provisions of the Regulation of Lobbying Act; and
8) Having regard to the Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activities under the Regulation of Lobbying Act was launched at an event at noon today, at the offices of the Standards in Public Office Commission at 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.
For more information, and to read the Commission's Code of Conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activities under the Regulation of Lobbying Act, visit the website www.lobbying.ie.
On 1 September 2015, the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 commenced, and with it, the requirement for those who lobby designated public officials to register and report on their lobbying activities every four months.
Section 16 of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (the Act) provides for a Code of Conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activities “with a view to promoting high professional standards and good practice”.
Information submitted to the Register is available for public inspection at www.lobbying.ie. The website, which includes the online register, also has a suite of information tools designed to help lobbyists, designated public officials and the public to fully understand the Act and its obligations.
The Register is overseen by the Standards in Public Office Commission.
For further information please contact:
Standards in Public Office Commission
6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
(01) 639 5722