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Minister McGrath extends closing date for submissions to the public consultation on the Review of Ethics Legislation

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, has today (Tuesday), extended the closing date for submissions to the public consultation on the Review of Ethics Legislation.

Minister McGrath launched the public consultation on the 25th of November.

The Closing date for the Public Consultation has now been extended to the 14th of January 2022.

Minister McGrath stated:

 “This review is the start of a process to reform the Ethics in Public Office legislation. It is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and I look forward to hearing the views of all stakeholders on this important public consultation. 

"My goal, is to reform the legislation to create a clear and unambiguous ethical framework that supports public governance”.


Notes to Editors:

Principally a legacy of the 1990s, the provisions underpinning Ireland’s statutory framework for ethics in public life are contained in a number of statutes, with separate regimes at national and local level for disclosure of interests, sanctions, disclosure of donations, and other ethics requirements.

The final report of the Mahon Tribunal (2012) contains recommendations to address perceived weaknesses in the current system. The second report of the Moriarty Tribunal contains a recommendation on the auditing of the financial affairs of Office Holders by the Standards in Public Office Commission . Since 2014, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has recommended that ‘Ireland should replace the existing ethics framework with a uniform and consolidated values-based normative framework’.

The previous government brought forward legislative reform proposals in 2015 (the Public Sector Standards Bill), but the Bill’s passage had not been completed when the Dáil was dissolved in advance of  last year’s General Election, and it lapsed.

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to “reform and consolidate the Ethics in Public Office legislation”. As a first step, the Government has agreed to proposals by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform that his Department undertake a review of the statutory framework in advance of bringing forward proposals for legislative reform in 2022.

The review as agreed by Government includes the following elements:

  • o A review of Ireland’s existing ethics legislative framework, including a reassessment of the 2015 Public Sector Standards Bill;
  • o A review of the recommendations of relevant tribunals of inquiry;
  • o A review of recommendations of the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) based on its operation of the current regime – and consideration of ethical questions that have arisen since 2017;
  • o Consultations with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government on the local government aspects of a consolidated statutory regime;
  • o A review of current EU/International best practice; and
  • o A Public Consultation - Consultations with various parties.

The review is expected to be completed in 2022.