Under the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995, a Minister is required by law to make declarations of interest to the Public Offices Commission and the Taoiseach if she or he proposes to perform a function of office and has actual knowledge that she or he or a connected person, or another office holder, has a material interest. Following from this, a Minister must make such a declaration if participating in a Government decision in which his or her family member might be a beneficiary. The Ethics in Public Office Act came onto operation on 1 November 1995.
For the first time the registrable interests of Ministers will be published and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas around the end of March. In addition, annual statements relating to family interests will be provided to the Public Offices Commission which oversees the Act in respect of Ministers. Understandably, the interests of family members will not be publicly disclosed.