Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Regulation of Lobbying Bill 2014: From the Seanad
Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 are minor technical amendments. Amendment No. 1 provides clarity around the provision in section 12(4)(f) and adds after the word "been" the words "(whether before or after the passing of this Act)". The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel advised that in order to clarify that this provision applies to whether the person was a designated public official before or after the passing of the Act. It was always assumed that would be the case but for the avoidance of doubt, it suggested I add that. That is the import of the first amendment.
Seanad amendment No. 2: Section 26: In page 24, between lines 12 and 13, to insert the following:“Delegation of functions by Commission 26. Such functions of the Commission under this Act as may be specified by the Commission may be performed, under the supervision and subject to the general direction of the Commission, by members of the staff of the Commission duly authorised in that behalf by the Commission.”.
I made this amendment at the request of the Standards in Public Office Commission. The Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 provides the commission with authority to delegate its function to staff of the commission. The commission itself is strongly of the view that to avoid any possibility of future legal challenges, the question of its powers of delegation should be put beyond doubt by the inclusion of a formal delegation provision in this Bill.
We agree to this amendment and have no issue with what is before us. However, on a point of clarification, in local authorities managers must formally sign a delegation order or note for directors of services to carry out functions. Will the people in the commission have formally to sign a delegation order to a staff member or will it just be a word of mouth delegation?