One third of TDs don’t submit receipts for expenses

Posted by David Farrell (February 6, 2012) Reports are circulating that the government is about to take steps to deal with Ireland’s terrible shortcomings on Freedom of Information and Whistleblowers legislation (to be blogged about when more is known). Both measures were promised in the Programme for Government and they are important steps on the…

Time to review the system of parliamentary expenses

Post by David Farrell (August 2, 2011) Today’s Irish Independent has good coverage of the situation regarding expenses for TDs and Senators. The details of how the ‘unvouched’ system works is usefully explained here; and this article reports on just how much expense have been drawn down by certain members, showing that more than 20%…

Political parties, like other public bodies, need to have their accounts fully audited

The ongoing standoff between the Minister for the Environment and the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) is yet another signal of just how much this government has backtracked on its supposed commitment to open government. At the heart of this issue is what level of party accounts should be made available for auditing and…

Is the Seanad Bill 2013 what we want?

Posted by Eoin O’Malley (15 May) A new Seanad reform bill was introduced in the Seanad today by Senators Katherine Zappone and Fergal Quinn. It is available here. The main point of the bill are that it should move to a reformed house with new powers, but without requiring constitutional change. It proposed elections by…

Mahon: transparency vital in future

From Nuala Haughey, Advocacy and Research Officer, Transparency International Ireland As the Mahon report rightly states, corruption thrives in shadows and darkness. The twilight world of political finances – and the toxic nexus between business and political parties – is an obvious area where the disinfectant properties of sunlight are much needed. The Mahon report…