Elaine Byrne 3 February 2014
The European Commission published its first Anti-Corruption report today.
Information on the Eurobarometer polls and summaries of each country can be found here
The Ireland chapter is here.
The report makes a number of observations across different sectors of Irish public life. It has commended the government for the reforms it has introduced but states that more needs to be done, particularly when it comes to prosecuting corruption.
The European Commission report was written by European Commission officials from DG Home. It was researched by me with the assistance of Trinity College Dublin, Government of Ireland scholar Mark Carpenter.
Elaine Byrne 31 January 2014
An exchange between the Chair of the Standards in Public Office Commission recently the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan T.D., with regard to the draft guidelines on political finance largely went by unnoticed. Just as unnoticed were the implications of the far-reaching Electoral (Political Funding) Act 2012.
The potential effect of the Minister’s decision not to implement the Standard Commission recommendations on party finance is that Fine Gael, and the state’s other political parties, are not obliged to provided a detailed set of accounts until 2016. The cynical might suggest the timing is thus convenient – after the 2016 election.
This is my submission to the Standards Commission, based on research conducted for the IDEA index of political financing, Global Integrity report and the European Commission report on corruption in Ireland. There’s a chapter in my corruption book on political donations in Ireland spanning 1980s-2000s. The submission distinguishes between donations to political parties and individuals from (a)corporations with government contracts, (b) corporations which are actively undergoing a tender process for the procurement of public funded contracts and (c) corporations which are government owned or partially government owned. It also examines multiple donations by the same individual, the role of third parties, the difficulties around accrual v cash receipts and the capacity of the Standards Commission.
Below is my Sunday Business Post column on the implications of the political finance.
Posted on behalf of the RIA
Venue: Academy House
Date: Tuesday 4 February 2014, 11.00-18.00
Following the recent referendum in which the Irish people rejected the proposal to abolish Seanad Éireann, the question of possible directions for reform has emerged as a significant theme in discussion of political change. The aim of this discussion seminar is to place the current reform discourse in its historical context, provide an overview on the reform of second chambers internationally, and finally act as a forum in which potential proposals for the reform of Seanad Éireann can be discussed. This discussion will consider the following key elements:
The role of the Seanad
The composition of membership
The powers of the Seanad
Posted on behalf of Senator Fidelma Healy Eames
The Reform Alliance is looking for ideas on reform in advance of the conference Saturday.
The reforms will be tweeted on a big screen live throughout the sessions and we will also provide space for attendees to tweet their own ideas live on the day with #reform.
Despite some of the media depictions drawing parallels to Daniel O’Connell’s famous “Monster Meetings”, or that this is an Ard Fheis style meeting precipitating the launch of a new party, neither of these representations are accurate. Continue reading
Dr. Patrick Collins, Department of Geography, NUIG and Aisling Murtagh, The Whitaker Institiute, NUIG
It has been termed the most fundamental overhaul of local government in the last 100 years, but will the proposed regional restructuring as laid out by Minister Phil Hogan bring about a change in the entrenched thinking of Irish planning, regardless of scalar scope? Will the devolution of power to a sub national level bring about a fundamental change in how we view economic development in this country? Are the managers of the newly formed regional authorities going to be any different in viewing indigenous entrepreneurship with mistrust and will they continue to entrust the future of the Irish economy on an exogenous-led development model? Continue reading
Today’s Irish Independent notes that Ireland ranks fifth for corporate whistleblowing.
Elaine Byrne’s recent Sunday Business Post article which advocated that whistleblowers should be financially incentivised to give insider information, based on the US experience.
Dr. Clodagh Harris, Department of Government, UCC
The Action programme for Effective Local Government ‘Putting People First’ (2012) proposes the creation of new municipal districts with local policy/regulatory roles. It also refers to increasing citizen engagement with reference to new forms of public engagement (p.159) such as Participatory Budgeting (PB). Continue reading
Dr. Cormac Walsh, University of Hamburg, Institute for Geography
The reform of regional governance boundaries announced by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in October 2012 will have potentially far-reaching implications for the Dublin city-region and its wider rural hinterland. Putting People First postpones a decision on the reorganisation of local authority structures until the aftermath of the 2014 local government elections (Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, 2012, p. 12). This situation has created a high degree of uncertainty over the future of local government in the Dublin region. The creation of an Eastern and Midlands Region creates one large region encompassing the Dublin Metropolitan Area, Continue reading