Ethics in Public Office Act 1995
Award of costs by Commission.
26.—(1) (a) Where, following an investigation by the Commission under section 23 of a complaint referred or made to it under section 22 (other than subsection (4)) F79[or section 4 of the Act of 2001], the Commission determines that the complaint was frivolous or vexatious or that there has not been a contravention of Part II, III or IV F79[or the Act of 1997 or that a specified act was not done] and that there were no reasonable grounds for the complaint, it may order that such amounts (not exceeding £1,500) as it considers appropriate, having regard to all the circumstances, in respect of the reasonable costs and expenses incurred by any person before it (including costs and expenses incurred by such a person in respect of legal representation) in relation to the investigation shall be paid to that person by the person who made the complaint.
(b) Where, in relation to an investigation under section 23, amounts are ordered to be paid under paragraph (a) to more than one person, the aggregate of those amounts shall not exceed £1,500.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the Commission may measure the costs and expenses aforesaid.
(3) Any costs or expenses ordered by the Commission under subsection (1) to be paid by a person may be recovered from that person by the person to whom they are ordered to be paid as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.
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 and resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas. Resolution of Dáil Éireann: Debates Volume 546, 6 December 2001. Resolution of Seanad Éireann: Debates Volume 168, 28 November 2001, subject to transitional provision in s. 14.
The Standards in Public Office Act 2001 (31/2001), s. 9, also deals with the issue of costs.