Ethics in Public Office Act 1995


Number 22 of 1995


ETHICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE ACT 1995

REVISED

Updated to 21 November 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Children’s Health Act 2018 (27/2018), enacted 20 November 2018, and all statutory instruments up to and including Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 484 of 2018), made 21 November 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 22 of 1995


ETHICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE ACT 1995

REVISED

Updated to 21 November 2018


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Standards in Public Office Act 2001, s. 29(3)). The Acts in the group are:

Ethics in the Public Office Act 1995 (22/1995)

Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001) other than in so far as it relates to functions of the Commission under the Electoral Act 1997

Although not included in the above collective citation, Part 15 of the Local Government Act 2001 (37/2001), Ethical Framework for the Local Government Service, deals with the same subject matter.

Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 2010 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation ( Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2010, s. 7(2)). These Acts are now repealed. The collectively cited Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 2005 are to be construed together as one ( Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005, s. 1(4)). The Acts in the group are:

Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict., c. 69) (repealed)

Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 (6 Edw. 7., c. 34) (repealed)

Prevention of Corruption Act 1916 (6 & 7 Geo. 5., c. 64) (repealed)

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 (22/1995), section 38 (repealed)

Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2001 (27/2001) (repealed)

Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005 (1/2005), Part 5 (s. 23) (repealed)

Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2010 (33/2010) (repealed)

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1980, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 (9/2018)

Data Protection Act 2018 (7/2018)

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2015 (53/2015)

Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (5/2015)

Court of Appeal Act 2014 (18/2014)

Child and Family Agency Act 2013 (40/2013)

Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 (33/2013)

Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2010 (33/2010)

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010)

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2009 (44/2009)

National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 (34/2009)

Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (33/2004)

Electoral (Amendment) Act 2004 (15/2004)

Aer Lingus Act 2004 (10/2004)

Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003 (1/2003)

Local Government Act 2001 (37/2001)

Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001)

Prevention of Corruption Acts, 1889-2001

Euro Changeover (Amounts) Act 2001 (16/2001)

Postal and Telecommunications Services (Amendment) Act 1999 (5/1999)

Public Service Management Act 1997 (27/1997)

All Acts up to and including Children’s Health Act 2018 (27/2018), enacted 20 November 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 484 of 2018)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 483 of 2018)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 36 of 2015)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 35 of 2015)

Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (Section 7(2)) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 339 of 2014)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 271 of 2013)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 265 of 2013)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 582 of 2012)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 575 of 2012)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 256 of 2012)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 707 of 2011)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 644 of 2011)

Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 645 of 2010)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 596 of 2010)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment)(No. 2) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 126 of 2010)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 15 of 2010)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 5 of 2010)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 321 of 2009)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 320 of 2009)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 607 of 2008)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment)(No.2) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 606 of 2008)

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Council) Rules 2008 (S.I. No. 492 of 2008)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of and Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 146 of 2008)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 145 of 2008)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of and Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 678 of 2006)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 677 of 2006)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 673 of 2005)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of and Positions in Public Bodies) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 672 of 2005)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 699 of 2004)

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 698 of 2004)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Body, Designated Directorships and Designated Positions in Public Bodies)(Amendment) Regulations 1997 (S.I. No. 310 of 1997)

Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Body, Designated Directorships and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) Regulations 1997 (S.I. No. 32 of 1997)

Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 57 of 1996)

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 (Commencement) Order 1995 (S.I. No. 282 of 1995)

All statutory instruments up to and including Ethics in Public Office (Prescribed Public Bodies, Designated Directorships of Public Bodies and Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 484 of 2018), made 21 November 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Resolutions of the Houses of the Oireachtas which affect this revision

Resolution of Dáil Éireann: Debates Volume 457, 26 October 1995, Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995: Motion.

Resolution of Seanad Éireann: Debates Volume 145, 15 November 1995, Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995: Motion.


Number 22 of 1995


ETHICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE ACT 1995

REVISED

Updated to 21 November 2018


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title, commencement, partial cesser and collective citation.

2.

Interpretation.

3.

Regulations.

4.

Expenses.

PART II

Members

5.

Statements of members’ registrable interests for Clerks.

6.

The Register.

7.

Declarations of interest by members in Oireachtas proceedings.

8.

Appointment of, and complaints to, Committees.

9.

Investigations by Committees.

10.

Reports by Committees.

11.

Award of costs by Committees.

12.

Guidelines and advice from Committees.

PART III

Office Holders

13.

Statements of office holders’ additional interests for Clerks.

14.

Statements of interest by office holders in relation to the performance of certain functions.

15.

Gifts to office holders.

PART IV

The Public Service

16.

Statements by Attorney General.

17.

Designated directorships.

18.

Designated positions of employment.

19.

Special advisers.

20.

Provisions relating to statements under sections 17 to 19 .

PART V

The Commission

21.

Establishment, membership and functions of Commission.

22.

Complaints to Commission.

23.

Investigations by Commission.

24.

Reports by Commission.

25.

Guidelines and advice from Commission.

26.

Award of costs by Commission.

27.

Annual and special reports by Commission.

PART VI

Miscellaneous

28.

Action by Houses where reports laid before them.

29.

Statements of interests outside periods specified in sections 5, 13 and 20.

30.

Voluntary statements.

31.

Discontinuance of investigations.

32.

Powers of Committees and Commission.

33.

Independence of Commission.

34.

Retention of statements and matters concerning legal or medical services.

35.

Prohibition of disclosure of information.

36.

Obligation to comply with determinations of Committees and Commission.

37.

Provisions in relation to offences.

38.

Amendment of Prevention of Corruption Acts, 1889 to 1916. (Repealed)

FIRST SCHEDULE

SECOND SCHEDULE


Number 22 of 1995


ETHICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE ACT 1995

REVISED

Updated to 21 November 2018


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS OF HOLDERS OF CERTAIN PUBLIC OFFICES (INCLUDING MEMBERS OF THE HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS) AND DESIGNATED DIRECTORS OF AND PERSONS EMPLOYED IN DESIGNATED POSITIONS IN CERTAIN PUBLIC BODIES, FOR THE APPOINTMENT BY EACH SUCH HOUSE OF A COMMITTEE, AND FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMISSION, TO INVESTIGATE CONTRAVENTIONS OF THIS ACT AND TO ESTABLISH GUIDELINES TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE THEREWITH, TO PROHIBIT THE RETENTION OF VALUABLE GIFTS BY HOLDERS OF CERTAIN PUBLIC OFFICES, TO AMEND THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACTS, 1889 TO 1916, AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS. [22 nd July, 1995]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Functions transferred and references to “Department of Finance” and “Minister for Finance” construed (29.07.2011) by Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011), arts. 2, 3, 5 and sch. 1 part 2, in effect as per art. 1(2).

2. (1) The administration and business in connection with the performance of any functions transferred by this Order are transferred to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) References to the Department of Finance contained in any Act or instrument made thereunder and relating to the administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) shall, on and after the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

3. The functions conferred on the Minister for Finance by or under the provisions of —

(a) the enactments specified in Schedule 1, and

(b) the statutory instruments specified in Schedule 2,

are transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

5. References to the Minister for Finance contained in any Act or instrument under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Order shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

Schedule 1

Enactments

...

Part 2

1922 to 2011 Enactments

Number and Year

Short Title

Provision

(1)

(2)

(3)

...

...

...

No. 22 of 1995

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995

The whole Act

...

...

...

C2

Application of collectively cited Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889-2001 extended (21.12.2009) by National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 (34/2009), s. 16, S.I. No. 545 of 2009.

Prevention of corruption.

16.— (1) To avoid doubt, the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 2001 apply to—

( a) every officer of NAMA,

( b) the Chief Executive Officer,

( c) the other members of the Board, and

( d) every director of a NAMA group entity.

(2) Where in any proceedings against a person who performs functions for or on or behalf of NAMA, or who performs functions connected to the valuation of eligible bank assets, for an offence under the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 or the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 it is shown that—

( a) any gift, consideration or advantage has been given to or received by the person, and

( b) the person who gave the gift, consideration or advantage or on whose behalf the gift, consideration or advantage was given was—

(i) a person who is a debtor in relation to an eligible bank asset, or

(ii) an associated debtor of such a person,

the gift or consideration or advantage shall be taken, unless the contrary is proved, to have been given and received corruptly as an inducement to or reward for the person performing or omitting to perform any of those functions.

C3

Application of Act restricted (27.09.2006) by Aer Lingus Act 2004 (10/2004), s. 12(1), S.I. No. 475 of 2006.

Certain Acts not to apply to Company.

12.—(1) With effect from the coming into operation of this subsection, the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001, shall cease to apply to the Company.

C4

Application of Act extended (1.01.2003) by Local Government Act 2001 (37/2001), s. 180, S.I. No. 218 of 2002.

Application of Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995, etc.

180.—(1) In this section “the Acts” means the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995 , and any other Act which is to be construed together as one with that Act.

(2) The Acts shall apply in relation to a local authority subject to the provisions of this section and with such other modifications as may be necessary and for that purpose—

( a) the powers of investigation and report conferred on the Commission apply in relation to a person to whom subsection (1) or (2) of section 167 relates,

( b) subsection (3) shall apply as regards a report prepared by the Commission,

( c) subsection (4) shall apply as regards the consideration of such report by a local authority.

(3) ( a) Where a report prepared by the Commission relates to—

(i) a manager, it shall be furnished to the Cathaoirleach of the county council or city council concerned,

(ii) the Cathaoirleach of a local authority, it shall be furnished to the Leas-Chathaoirleach of the authority and to its manager,

(iii) any other member of a local authority, it shall be furnished to the Cathaoirleach of the authority and to its manager,

(iv) any employee of a local authority other than the manager, it shall be furnished to the manager of the local authority concerned, and

(v) any other person to whom subsection (1) or (2) of section 167 relates, it shall be furnished to the manager of the local authority concerned.

( b) Nothing in this subsection shall be read so as to prevent the furnishing of a report referred to in paragraph (a) to any other person in accordance with the Acts.

(4) ( a) Where a report referred to in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of subsection (3)(a) is furnished to a local authority, it shall be considered by the elected council. The elected council shall decide on such action to be taken as may be considered appropriate in all the circumstances including, in the case of subparagraph (i) of subsection (3)(a), the exercise of powers of suspension or removal pursuant to section 146 .

( b) Where a report referred to in subparagraph (iv) or (v) of subsection (3)(a) is furnished to a local authority it shall be considered by its manager. The manager shall decide on such action to be taken as may be considered appropriate in all the circumstances including, in the case of an employee, suspension with or without pay or termination of employment.

( c) The manager shall inform the elected council of the result of a consideration under paragraph (b).

(5) Nothing in this section shall be read as prejudicing the Commission in carrying out the functions conferred on it by the Acts.

C5

Construction of references amended (10.12.2001) by Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001), s. 15, S.I. No. 576 of 2001 and resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas. See s. 21 for establishment of the Commission.

Adaptation of references in Principal Act and Act of 1997.

15.—(1) In the Principal Act, the Act of 1997 and every other Act of the Oireachtas and every instrument made under any of the Acts aforesaid—

( a) references to the Public Offices Commission shall be construed as references to the Commission, and

( b) references to the chairman of the Public Offices Commission shall be construed as references to the chairperson of the Commission.

C6

Registration dates specified (10.12.2001) by Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001), s. 12, S.I. No. 576 of 2001 and resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Registration date.

12.—For the purposes of the Principal Act and notwithstanding anything in that Act—

( a) in relation to Dáil Éireann and its members and Clerk, the registration date immediately following 31 January 2001 shall be 31 December 2001, and each subsequent registration date shall be the date of each anniversary of the latter date or, if on any such date (“the specified date”) Dáil Éireann stands dissolved, the date that is 30 days after the date of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann after the specified date, and

( b) in relation to Seanad Éireann and its members and Clerk, the registration date immediately following 31 January 2001 shall be 31 December 2001, and each subsequent registration date shall be the date of each anniversary of the latter date or, if on any such date Dáil Éireann stands dissolved, the date that is 30 days after the date of the first meeting of Seanad Éireann after the first general election for members of Seanad Éireann after that dissolution.

C7

Application of Act restricted (15.07.1999) by Postal and Telecommunications Services (Amendment) Act 1999 (5/1999), s. 10, S.I. No. 220 of 1999.

Non-application of certain Acts.

10.—The Ombudsman Act, 1980, the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995 , the Prompt Payment of Accounts Act, 1997, and section 521 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 , shall not apply to the company.

Editorial Notes:

E1

Secretary to the Standards in Public Office Commission prescribed to be recipient of disclosures of relevant wrongdoings in relation to certain matters relating to the supervision of the collectively cited for purpose of Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (14/2014) (23.07.2014) by Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (Section 7(2)) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 339 of 2014).