On 1 November 2022, we provided an update on the publication of the Regulation of Lobbying (Amendment) Bill. In this Insight we continue with a brief overview of the Bill's journey through the legislative process and the amendments that have been considered by the Dáil, most recently.
On 6 December 2022 the Bill was examined at the Third Stage of the legislative process, which is known as the Committee Stage. At this stage, a Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform considered the Bill in detail and the members of the Select Committee proposed a series of amendments to the Bill as published last autumn. The changes considered and approved by the Select Committee included:
- The closure of a possible loophole whereby representative bodies with no full time employees but who conduct lobbying activities could avoid the transparency requirements of the Act.
- That SIPO's annual lobbying report must include any decisions on relevant contraventions of the Bill and any administrative sanctions which have been imposed that year, as well as information on any appeals or confirmations sought. The Bill will, however, provide that any decisions will not be reported on until they have reached their final possible outcome.
On 1 March 2023 the Bill was put before the Dáil where additional amendments were debated by TDs. While a number of amendments were proposed, there were no substantive changes to the Bill as presented to the Dáil following the Committee Stage. As the Bill has now been passed by the Dáil, it will next be read and debated in the Seanad, following which it will be referred to the President for signature. Once the Bill has been enacted, it will only come into force once it has been commenced by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the Bill and provide further updates in due course.
Please get in touch with Karen Reynolds or your usual Matheson contact should you require further information in relation to the material referred to in this Insight. Visit our Regulatory Enforcement and Investigations page to stay up to date with the latest updates, articles and briefing notes.