Lobbying Returns

We are working to ensure that the interests of the profession and the public are articulated to key decision makers and that we comply with our statutory obligations arising under the Regulation of Lobbying Act.

Working for you

Our pro-active engagement on legal policy, in addition to our participation in consultations at a national and European level, are informed by the Society’s Committees.

See also details of the Society's Policy and Law Reform team.

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Since September 2015, the Regulation of Lobbying Act also applies to law firms and, in some instances, to their clients. For more information, see below:

Lobbying regulation

The Act

Obligations under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 came into effect on 1 September 2015 and oblige those undertaking ‘lobbying activities’, where applicable, to publicly register such instances.

The Act provides that the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) will be the Regulator of Lobbying.

Register lobbying activities

Lobbying activities must be registered on lobbying.ie within 21 days after the end of each of the following periods of activity:

  • 1 September - 31 December: register by end of 21 January.
  • 1 January - 30 April: register by end of 21 May.
  • 1 May - 31 August: register by end of 21 September.

Useful lobbying.ie guides

The following guides offer information for people carrying out lobbying activities and designated public officials, along with frequently asked questions.

Appeals (including delayed publication)

  • Section 23 of the Act provides for the appeal of SIPO decision relating to accuracy of the register, delayed publication and post-term employment of former designated public officials.
  • Appeals must be made within 14 days of the SIPO decision and the outcome may be appealed further to the High Court.
  • The Appeals Regulations are set out in SI 366/2015.

Penalties and Enforcement (Commenced 1 January 2017)

These penalties apply to the reporting period 1 September 2016 to 31 December 2016, and all periods thereafter. 

Part 4 (sections 18 - 21) of the Act relates to enforcement, contraventions and penalties:

  • Section 20 provides a person (and/or their employer) in contravention of the Act is liable, on summary conviction, to a Class C fine (up to €2,500), or on indictment, a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years.
  • Section 21 provides that where a fixed payment is made to SIPO, prosecution in respect of the offence will not be initiated.

Public Service Bodies

Designated Public Officials (DPOs)

In order to assist with compliance with the Act, public bodies and agencies have been requested to publish the names, titles and responsibilities of their designated public officials, including Ministerial advisors. Office holders may change.

  • Section 6 sets out the classes of public and civil servants that are regarded as Designated Public Officials.
  • SI 367/2015 sets out additional classes of Designated Public Officials and the bodies they are employed by (see below for further details).

DPOs by department

Direct links to the schedule of DPOs by Department are set out below:

SIPO have provided a full list of government agencies and departments with DPOs working within them. This may be added to over time and you are advised to consult it regularly.

Who does what?

A valuable resource in identifying senior public officials across 24 departments and agencies, including contact details, grade, division and responsibilities, is the Who Does What website.  

You may also find the outlines of structures for certain Government Departments below useful: 

Elected public officials and local authorities

Section 6(a) - (d) provides that publicly elected officials are deemed DPOs. The following resources may be of assistance:

EU Transparency Register

Entities whose contact with EU Institutions, including MEPS, is designed to influence - directly or indirectly - policymaking, policy implementation and decision-making in the EU institutions, should be aware of the voluntary EU Transparency Register. Entities are urged to register their organisations rather than their individual activities and are bound to a Code of Conduct.

Useful public affairs links  

For additional external resources, see:

Feedback

What information or resources would you like to be included in this section for the benefit of you and your colleagues? Please send any queries and/or suggestions to the Society's Public Affairs Manager, Cormac Ó Culáin.

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