The Lobbying register: facilitating transparency or allowing policy influence ‘under the radar’?

By Nuala Haughey Almost fifteen years after the idea was first proposed in a Labour Party private members’ Bill, Ireland is due to get a mandatory lobbying register. The online database will capture information about the efforts of interest groups and professional lobbyists alike to influence policy and legislation. The database is provided for in…

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…

Ministerial responsibility, policy design and implementation

At a conference in the IPA recently there was some talk about changes in how ministers and civil servants are held accountable, and for what they are held accountable. The traditional doctrine of ministerial responsibility, set out in the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, hold the minister to be the Corporation Sole, so s/he is…

Let’s think about the type of inquiry that will work before we set one up

The current calls for some form of inquiry into the economic collapse and the government’s response to it are understandable in the light of the Anglo tapes. While they probably didn’t reveal much that we hadn’t already suspected, their tone was abhorrent to most. What is not reasonable is that we concentrate our blame on…