The first Lobbying Annual Report (“the Report”) since the commencement of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (“the Act”) was recently published.
The Report identifies and discusses in detail the following nine Key Issues from 2015:
- Lobbying outside of Ireland
- The registration of charities and the question of charitable status
- The method or venue of the communication
- Submissions to public consultations
- Who initiates contact
- The role of representative bodies
- Client confidentiality
- Role of designated public officials in supporting the Act
- Role of public bodies in supporting the Act
Since the commencement of the Act, the Report details that the response to the Act and its obligations has been largely positive among those who have the obligation to register. More than 1,100 persons and organisations registered and over 2,500 returns were posted in the online Register of Lobbying.
The Report outlines that there will be an expected high level of activity for 2016 as there are three return periods scheduled and the commencement of the investigation and enforcement provisions as contained in Part IV of the Act are anticipated to occur this year. A planned legislative review will also take place later in the year.
The Report has outlined that while section 16
of the Act, provides that the Standards in Public Office Commission (“ the Commission”) may produce a code of conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activity the Commission does not intend to undertake the development of such a code in the first year of the Act’s commencement.
A copy of the Annual Report is available here.
A link to all of McDowell Purcell’s blogs similar to this one is available here.
Authors: Elaine Morrissey and James Roddy