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Press Release - Report on Political Parties' Statements of Accounts 2015

Standards in Public Office Commission
Press Release

Report on Political Parties' Statements of Accounts 2015

The Standards in Public Office Commission (the Standards Commission) has today published the first annual report of statements of accounts provided to it by political parties registered in Ireland.

The Electoral Act 1997, as amended by the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, requires all registered political parties to submit audited statements of accounts to the Standards Commission by 30 June following the end of the calendar year to which the accounts relate. This is the first time that political parties have been required to furnish audited statements of accounts to the Commission.

The report contains an overview of the Act's obligations, and provides information on the compliance status of all parties subject to the Act.

Based on the experience gained in administering these new obligations for political parties, the Commission has identified several recommendations that, if implemented, will streamline reporting processes and lessen the administrative burden on smaller parties of adhering to the current requirements of the Act. In particular, the Commission recommends that the legislation be reviewed with a view to exempting smaller parties, especially those that receive no funding from the Exchequer under either the electoral or party activities allowance legislation, from the requirement to furnish audited statements of accounts to the Commission. The Commission agrees that the requirement to furnish statements should remain, but that it is unnecessary in these circumstances for the statements to be audited.

In accordance with the requirements of the Act, a copy of this report will be furnished to the Chairman of Dáil Éireann and to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
The Standards Commission report on Political Parties' Statements of Accounts 2015 is available at http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/reports/political-parties-statements-of-accounts/2015-political-parties-statements-of-accounts/.

Background
The Standards in Public Office Commission is an independent body responsible for overseeing the Ethics in Public Office Acts, the Regulation of Lobbying Act and the Electoral Act 1997 (as amended). The Standards Commission was created by the 2001 Standards in Public Office Act.

Standards in Public Office Commission
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
D02 HE97
Telephone: 01 - 6395666
E-mail: sipo@sipo.ie
Website: www.sipo.ie
Twitter: @SIPOCIreland