On 11 July 2016 the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform signed the Commencement Order for the enforcement provisions for the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (“the Act”). The enforcement provisions will take effect from 1 January 2017.
The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (the “Act”), which commenced on 1 September 2015 obliges lobbyists to register and provide information about their lobbying activities. The Standards in Public Office Commission is the lobbying regulator.
The enforcement provisions relate to relevant contraventions of the Act which include the following:
- Contravening Section 8(1) (unregistered lobbying);
- Failing to make a return under Section 12 (report on lobbying activity);
- Providing to the Commission any information known to be inaccurate or misleading;
- Failing to comply with a requirement under section 19(4) (provision of information, documentation etc);
- Obstructing an investigation being carried out by an Authorised Officer under section 19.
Section 20 provides for penalties for contraventions of the Act. It provides monetary penalties which range from a fixed penalty of €200 for late returns to a Class C fine on summary conviction (up to €2,500). Section 20 also provides for imprisonment of up to 2 years on conviction on indictment.
It is important that companies and individuals who may be lobbying familiarise themselves with Part 4 and ensure that they comply with the Act.
A link to McDowell Purcell’s blogs on the Act are available below: