Undermining of Lobbying rules deeply concerning

28 September 2020
  • Department of Finance becoming training school for corporate careers.

With another Fine Gael Minister for Financial Services resigning from politics to take up an industry lobbying position, Labour Finance spokesperson Ged Nash said the government party should clarify if it believes this is an appropriate move.

He said the spirit of the rules were being undermined, and called for the IAIM to clarify if it is shutting down its lobbying operations until next July.

Deputy Nash said:

“In 2015 the Labour Party introduced the regulation of Lobbying Act to provide transparency but also cut out the revolving door between politics and big business. In particular Section 22 provides for a one year cooling-off period for office holders and special advisers and is very clear on the rules that apply.

“I think we would all welcome the views of the Tánaiste and Fine Gael leader on the revolving door connecting his party and the financial services industry. 

“This would also be the second Fine Gael Junior Minister in the Department of Finance in recent years to take up a lobbying position in the finance sector and the perception of former Ministers being used to gain access to the corridors of power, and in particular the formation of regulations and laws is deeply worrying.

“We can’t tolerate a situation where the Department of Finance becomes a training ground for corporate careers in the financial services industry.

“It would be bizarre in the extreme if a body like the IAIM whose sole purpose is lobbying were to voluntarily go into hibernation for nearly a year to facilitate this appointment.

“As the law makes clear former Minister for Financial Services and now former Senator Michael D’Arcy cannot take up a position with the IAIM unless he receives permission from SIPO or neither he nor the IAIM engage in any lobbying of the Department of Finance until 29th June 2021.

“Mr D’Arcy and the IAIM should clarify the matter, and how they will be compliant with the law. If this was an oversight on their part then they should say so.”

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