Ethics in Public Office Act 1995

Interpretation.

2

2. (1) In this Act, save where the context otherwise requires—

act” includes omission or failure to act and a reference to the doing of an act includes a reference to the making of an omission, and any cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

actual knowledge” means actual, direct and personal knowledge as distinct from constructive, implied or imputed knowledge and includes, in relation to a fact, belief in its existence the grounds for which are such that a reasonable person who is aware of them could not doubt or disbelieve that the fact exists;

additional interests” has the meaning assigned to it by section 13 ;

benefit” includes—

( a) a right, privilege, office or dignity and any forbearance to demand money or money's worth or a valuable thing,

( b) any aid, vote, consent or influence or pretended aid, vote, consent or influence,

( c) any promise or procurement of or agreement or endeavour to procure, or the holding out of any expectation of, any gift, loan, fee, reward or other thing aforesaid,

or other advantage and the avoidance of a loss, liability, penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other disadvantage;

Clerk” means, in relation to members of Dáil Éireann, the Clerk of Dáil Éireann and, in relation to members of Seanad Éireann, the Clerk of Seanad Éireann;

commercial price”, in relation to the supply of property, whether real or personal, or the supply of a service, and “ commercial consideration”, in relation to the lending of property, means—

( a) where the person by whom the property is supplied or lent or the service is supplied carries on a business consisting wholly or partly of the supply or lending of property or the supply of a service, the lowest price or consideration charged by him or her for the supply or lending in the normal course of business of an equivalent amount of property of the same kind or for the supply of a service of the same kind and to the same extent (allowance being made for any discount which is normally given by him or her in respect of the supply or lending of property of the same kind or the supply of a service of the same kind) at or about the time of the first-mentioned supply or lending of property or the first-mentioned supply of a service, and

( b) where the person by whom the property is supplied or lent or the service is supplied does not carry on a business consisting wholly or partly of the supply or lending of property or the supply of a service of the same kind, the lowest price or consideration for which an equivalent amount of property of the same kind may be purchased or taken on loan or a service of the same kind and to the same extent may be procured in the normal course of business (allowance being made for any discount which is normally given in respect of the supply or lending of property of the same kind or the supply of a service of the same kind) at or about the time of the first-mentioned supply or lending of property or the first-mentioned supply of a service from a person who carries on such a business;

the Commission” means the commission established by section 21 ;

the Committee”, in relation to Dáil Éireann or members of Dáil Éireann, means the Committee on Members' Interests of Dáil Éireann appointed under section 8 and, in relation to Seanad Éireann or members of Seanad Éireann, means the Committee on Members' Interests of Seanad Éireann appointed under section 8 and “ a Committee” means, as the context may require, each of those committees or either of them;

committee” and “ joint committee” include a sub-committee of a committee or, as the case may be, joint committee;

company” means any body corporate;

connected person”, in relation to a person, shall be construed in accordance with subsection (2);

designated directorship”, in relation to a public body, means a prescribed directorship of that body;

designated position”, in relation to a public body, means a prescribed position of employment in that body;

director” means a director within the meaning of the Companies Acts, 1963 to 1990, but includes, in the case of a public body that is not a company (within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1963) and is specified in subparagraph (8), (9), (10), (11) or (12), or stands prescribed for the purposes of subparagraph (13), of paragraph 1 of the First Schedule , a person who is a member of it or a member of any board or other body that controls, manages or administers it, and any cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

election” means a presidential election, a European election, a Dáil election, a local election (within the meaning, in each case, of the Electoral Act, 1992), or an election of a member or members to serve in Seanad Éireann, and any cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

functions” includes powers and duties and references to the performance of functions include, with respect to powers and duties, references to the exercise of the powers and the carrying out of the duties and, in relation to an office holder, includes functions conferred on him or her by the Government or in pursuance of a decision of the Government and functions of the office holder as a member of the Government;

F1 [ gift means a gift of money or other property excluding a donation (within the meaning of the Electoral Act, 1997 ); ]

House” means House of the Oireachtas and, in relation to a person who is an office holder or member, means the House of the Oireachtas of which he or she is a member, and any cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

interest” means an interest specified in the Second Schedule ;

lend” includes lease or let and any cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

member” means a member of Dáil Éireann or a member of Seanad Éireann;

the Minister” means the Minister for Finance;

office holder” means—

( a) a person who is a Minister of the Government or a Minister of State,

( b) a member who holds the office of Attorney General,

( c) a person who is Chairman or Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann or Chairman or Deputy Chairman of Seanad Éireann, and

( d) a person who holds—

(i) the office of chairman of a committee of either House, being an office that stands designated for the time being by resolution of that House, or

(ii) the office of chairman of a joint committee of both Houses, being an office that stands designated for the time being by resolution of each House;

prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

property” means real or personal property;

public body” shall be construed in accordance with the First Schedule ;

registrable interest” shall be construed in accordance with the Second Schedule ;

registration date” means—

( a) in relation to Dáil Éireann and its members and Clerk—

(i) the date that is 30 days after the commencement of Part II in so far as it relates to Dáil Éireann and its members and Clerk and its committees and their members and clerks or, if on that date Dáil Éireann stands dissolved, the date that is 30 days after the date of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann after the first-mentioned date, and

(ii) the date of each anniversary of the first registration 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 Dáil Éireann after the first-mentioned date, and

( b) in relation to Seanad Éireann and its members and Clerk—

(i) the date that is 30 days after the commencement of Part II in so far as it relates to Seanad Éireann and its members and Clerk and its committees and their members and clerks or, if on that 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, and

(ii) the date of each anniversary of the first registration 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;

relative”, in relation to a person, means a brother, sister, parent or spouse of the person or a child of the person or of the spouse;

relevant authority” has the meaning assigned to it by section 18 ;

special adviser” has the meaning assigned to it by section 19 ;

spouse”, in relation to a person, does not include a spouse who is living separately and apart from the person;

value”, in relation to a gift, means the price which the property the subject of the gift would fetch if it were sold on the open market on the date on which the gift was given in such manner and subject to such conditions as might reasonably be calculated to obtain for the vendor the best price for the property, and any cognate words shall be construed accordingly.

(2) ( a) Any question whether a person is connected with another shall be determined in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph (any provision that one person is connected with another person being taken to mean also that that other person is connected with the first-mentioned person):

(i) a person is connected with an individual if that person is a relative of the individual,

(ii) a person, in his or her capacity as a trustee of a trust, is connected with an individual who or any of whose children or as respects whom any body corporate which he or she controls is a beneficiary of the trust,

(iii) a person is connected with any person with whom he or she is in partnership,

(iv) a company is connected with another person if that person has control of it or if that person and persons connected with that person together have control of it,

(v) any two or more persons acting together to secure or exercise control of a company shall be treated in relation to that company as connected with one another and with any person acting on the directions of any of them to secure or exercise control of the company.

( b) In paragraph (a)control” has the meaning assigned to it by section 157 of the Corporation Tax Act, 1976, and any cognate words shall be construed accordingly.

F2 [ "Act of 1997" means the Electoral Act, 1997 ;

" Act of 2001 " means the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001;

"specified act" means an act or omission referred to in section 4 (1)(a) of the Act of 2001 and references to the doing of a specified act include references to the making of such an omission and cognate words shall be construed accordingly, but references, in relation to a member, to a specified act shall be construed as if the references in the said section 4(1)( a ) to the performance by the specified person of the functions of the office or position by reference to which he or she is such a person were references to the performance by the member of the functions of the office of member. ]

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person or a connected person has a material interest in a matter if the consequence or effect—

( a) of the performance by the person of a function of his or her office, directorship, designated position, or position as a special adviser, as the case may be, or

( b) of any decision made in relation to or in the course or as a result of the performance of such a function by the person,

concerning that matter may be to confer on or withhold from the person or the connected person a significant benefit F3 [ or impose on the person a significant loss, liability, penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other disadvantage without also conferring it on, withholding it from or imposing it on ] persons in general or a class of persons which is of significant size having regard to all the circumstances and of which the person or the connected person is a member.

(4) For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be deemed to have an interest in property if the person would be regarded as having, for the purposes of the F4 [ Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003 ] , the power to make a disposition of that interest.

(5) In this Act—

( a) a reference to a Part, section or Schedule is a reference to a Part or section of, or a Schedule to, this Act unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended, and

( b) a reference to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, clause or subclause is a reference to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, clause or subclause of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended, and

( c) a reference to any enactment shall be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended, adapted or extended by or under any subsequent enactment.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F1

Substituted (10.12.2001) by Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001), s. 13(1) and sch. 1, S.I. No. 576 of 2001.

F2

Inserted (10.12.2001) by Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001), s. 13(1) and sch. 1, S.I. No. 576 of 2001.

F3

Substituted (10.12.2001) by Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001), s. 13(1) and sch. 1, S.I. No. 576 of 2001.

F4

Substituted (21.02.2003) by Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003 (1/2003), s. 119 and sch. 3, commenced on enactment.

Modifications (not altering text):

C8

“Connected person” and “connected relative” construed (1.01.2011) by Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010), s. 97(1), S.I. No. 648 of 2010.

Ethics and conflict of interests.

97.— (1) For the purposes of determining matters concerning ethics and conflicts of interests under any rule of law or enactment—

(a) with respect to a person, a reference to a “connected person” or a “connected relative” of that person shall be construed as including the person’s civil partner and the child of the person’s civil partner who is ordinarily resident with the person and the civil partner, and

(b) a declaration that must be made in relation to a spouse of a person shall also be made in relation to a civil partner of a person.

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