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Action Checklist For Public Bodies Re The Ethics Acts

Each public body should:

1.        Identify all holders of designated directorships and occupiers of designated positions of employment;

2.        Inform each individual of their obligations under the Ethics Acts regarding statements of a material interest and annual statements of interest;

3.        Supply each individual with the relevant blank statement of interests form;

4.        Inform each individual that, if required to disclose interests, the statement of interests form should be completed (including signed and dated by the person) and furnished to the appropriate person no later than 31 January 2017;

5.        Ensure that each individual is aware that they must sign and date their statement after the completion of the period which it covers, which in most cases is after the end of the calendar year (the Standards Commission will return for amendment any statement which does not comply with this requirement);

6.        Inform each individual that they are obliged to have regard to the Standards Commission's Guidelines for Public Servants on Compliance with the Provisions of the Ethics Acts;

7.        Inform each individual that they may seek advice from the Standards Commission (Brian McKevitt) as to their obligations under the Ethics Acts;

8.        Ensure that all designated directors (who are required to furnish their statements both to the officer of the body specified in Appendix 3 to the guidelines on compliance and to the Standards Commission) are aware that the Standards Commission will accept either an original statement or a copy of a statement, subject to an original signature (for clarity, the statement furnished to the officer of the body must also be either an original statement or a copy of a statement containing an original signature as the legislation does not provide for the furnishing of copies);

9.        Ensure that persons who hold more than one designated directorship or occupy more than one designated position of employment or occupy a designated position of employment in addition to holding a designated directorship are required to furnish a statement of interests separately in respect of each designated directorship held or designated position occupied.

10.        Ensure that all new appointments to "senior office" are made aware of their obligations concerning tax clearance and that the Standards Commission is informed of the details of each such appointment as soon as possible.

Please note the following in relation to annual statements of interests:

1.        Where a designated director or employee considers that he/she has no interests which could materially influence him/her in or in relation to the performance of the functions of his/her directorship or position, a statement is not legally required.

2.        Completed statements, covering the registration period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 (or part thereof), should be provided no later than 31 January 2017. Disclosure is required for each year during any part of which a designated directorship or position is held or occupied.

3.        Designated directors (section 17) should forward their annual statement to the officer of the body as set out in Appendix 3 to the guidelines and to the Standards Commission.

4.        Designated employees (Section 18) should provide their annual statement only to the relevant authority as set out in that appendix. The Standards Commission will return any designated employees (Section 18) forms it receives.

5.        Designated directors and employees may contact the Standards Commission directly for advice on the nature, or application in any particular case, of any provision of the Ethics Acts. Requests for advice can be made to Brian McKevitt by letter, telephone or email at sipo@sipo.ie. Please note that administrative queries, e.g., relating to provision of forms or details of officers of the body or of relevant authorities should be dealt with by the public body and not by the Standards Commission.

6.        The person to whom a statement of interests is provided may request information relating to the statement or any matter arising in connection with it from the person who provided the statement. Where he or she considers that the provider of a statement may have contravened the Ethics Acts, he or she may make a written complaint to the Standards Commission. Section 11 of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 refers.

7.        It is an offence to disclose information contained in a statement provided under the Ethics Acts. The only exception is where a person to whom a statement is provided may disclose information to such other directors or employees in the public body concerned, as they may consider appropriate, where that person is of the opinion that the information is such as to show that a conflict may exist between an interest specified in a statement, or an undisclosed interest, and the public interest.

8.        Each statement provided under the Ethics Acts must be retained for 15 years and must be provided to the Standards Commission, if requested.