The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) has issued its Annual Report as required under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.
Having been established in 2001 the commission serves as the Registrar of Lobbying. Operational details and determinations made by the Standards Commission throughout the year and information on communications and outreach undertaken are highlighted in the 2016 report.
As some members may already be aware, the Commission’s focus during 2016 was to build understanding and encourage compliance with the Regulation of Lobbying Act. This approach and the establishment and implementation of the new regulatory system has yielded some positive results. Over 1,600 individuals and organisations registered and over 11,000 returns of lobbying activities have been submitted to the Register to date.
2016 also saw the scheduled commencement of the Act’s enforcement provisions, which gives the Commission the authority to investigate and prosecute contraventions of the Act.
While the Commission is generally happy with the response to date, it did note the ongoing need for education about the Act's requirements to ensure greater levels of registration in counties outside Dublin, as well as continued improvements in the quality of information available on the Register.
Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation Sherry Perreault said, “We will continue to reach out to potential registrants, particularly targeting counties and sectoral interests that may be under-represented on the Register.”