Lobbying enforcement provisions set to commence 1 January 2017


Standards in Public Office Commission will have authority to investigate and prosecute contraventions of Regulation of Lobbying Act


Saturday 31 December 2016
: Anyone currently lobbying who fails to register or submit returns of lobbying activities by the forthcoming deadline may face sanctions under the enforcement provisions of the Regulation of Lobbying Act, set to commence tomorrow.

An incremental approach has been taken to the commencement of the Act, with most of the Act’s provisions in effect from last year.

The Act, which commenced 1 September 2015, requires those who lobby designated public officials to register and report on their lobbying activities every four months.

Part 4 of the Act, which will come into effect on 1 January 2017, provides the Standards in Public Office Commission with the authority to investigate and prosecute contraventions of the Act and to levy fixed payment notices for late filing of lobbying returns.

Anyone who is lobbying in the current reporting period (1 September – 31 December 2016) must register and submit a return of lobbying activities by 21 January 2017. Current registrants must be mindful that nil returns are expected even if no lobbying took place during the relevant period.

Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation Sherry Perreault said, “Every effort has been made to ensure that those who lobby are aware of the Act’s obligations in advance of the commencement of the enforcement provisions.”

Ms Perreault said, “It is expected that the introduction of the Act’s enforcement provisions will provide the Standards Commission with additional tools to support compliance.”

To date, more than 1,500 persons and organisations have registered and more than 7,500 returns have been published on the register.

Further information, including instructional videos and sample returns, is available on the website www.lobbying.ie.

 

Ends

 

For further information please contact:

Sherry Perreault
Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation
Standards in Public Office Commission
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2

Tel: 01 639 5715

Mobile: 087 602 6238

E-mail: sherry.perreault@sipo.ie
Website: www.lobbying.ie
Twitter: @LobbyingIE

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Background:

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. Part 4 of the Act, containing the investigation and enforcement provisions, was not commenced at the same time as the other provisions of the Act to allow for a "bedding-down" period. The focus of the Standards Commission over the past 16 months has been to raise awareness of the Act's obligations and to encourage compliance.

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. Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation Sherry Perreault was appointed in May 2015. 

The Standards Commission issued its first annual report under the Regulation of Lobbying Act on 28 June 2016. The report is available online at www.lobbying.ie.