Most of the links below are to the legislation as published on www.irishstatutebook.ie. Readers are advised to read the disclaimer contained on the homepage of that site before clicking on the links below. Links to some of the more recent regulations made under the Ethics Acts are links to the Ethics section of the Dept. of Finance website. The same disclaimer is contained in that section.
The Ethics Acts and Regulations
The Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 was enacted on 22 July, 1995. It established the independent Public Offices Commission and Committees on Members' Interests of Dáil and Seanad Éireann. It provides, inter alia, for the disclosure of interests by parliamentarians and public servants and for investigation of possible non-compliance with the requirements of the legislation. The 1995 Act was amended by the Standards in Public Office Act 2001. The 2001 Act established the Standards in Public Office Commission (Standards Commission) to replace, and assume all of the functions of, the Public Offices Commission. As well as other matters, it introduced a requirement whereby elected members of both Houses of the Oireachtas and appointees to senior office in the public service are required to furnish evidence of tax compliance. It also made provision for the publication of Codes of Conduct for office holders (e.g. Ministers and Ministers of State), ordinary members of both Houses and public servants.
The complete text of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 is normally available on www.irishstatutebook.ie.
Restatements of the Ethics Acts by the Law Reform Commission which provide administrative consolidations of the legislation, are available below:
Regulations made pursuant to Ethics Acts
- Statutory Instrument No. 145 of 2008 - Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2008
The Electoral Acts and Regulations
The Electoral Act 1997 was enacted on 15 May 1997. It provides for the disclosure to the Standards Commission of political donations received by political parties, members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, MEPs and candidates at Dáil, Seanad, European Parliament and presidential elections. It also makes provision for State financing of qualified political parties and the limitation, disclosure and reimbursement of election expenses at Dáil, European Parliament and presidential elections.
There have been several amendments to the 1997 Act. The most significant amendments were introduced in the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2001. The 2001 Act introduced limits on the value of donations which could be accepted by political parties and individual politicians. It prohibits acceptance of foreign donations. The 2001 also requires the opening and maintenance of Political Donations Accounts and makes provision whereby lobby or campaign groups are, in certain circumstances, required to register as "third parties" with the Standards Commission.
The complete text of the legislation referred to below and regulations made under it, is normally available on www.irishstatutebook.ie. (SI No. 113 of 2007 is currently only available as a downloadable file.)
- Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2005
- Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act, 2012
- Electoral, Local Government and Planning and Development Act 2013
- Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2015
Regulations made pursuant to the Electoral Acts
Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act, 2014.
The Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act 2014 was enacted on 1 July 2014. It provides for the payment of an annual allowance to the leaders of parliamentary parties and independent members in relation to expenses arising from the parliamentary activities, including research.
The complete text of the legislation is normally available on www.irishstatutebook.ie.