The recommendations of Moriarty were grouped into five categories, namely, political funding, company law, Revenue matters, regulation and tribunals of inquiry.
The Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012 was enacted by the Oireachtas on 28 July 2012. It brought into force restrictions on corporate donations and considerable reductions in the maximum amount a political party or individual could accept as a political donation. The Standards in Public Office Commission, SIPO, has published guidelines for political parties on the steps to be taken in receiving donations and prohibited donations. It has also published guidelines for the register of corporate donors. Under the 2012 Act it is a requirement that political parties submit audited accounts to SIPO for publication. This requirement begins with regard to the 2015 accounts, which must be submitted to SIPO by mid-2016. Such requirements, which mandate that the income and expenditure of a political party be open to scrutiny, go beyond the recommendations of the Moriarty tribunal. In addition, the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act 2014 reduced the levels of payment applicable to political leaders and Independent Members, and provides that Independent Members are now required to furnish to SIPO an annual statement of expenditure. Also relevant is the introduction of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, to be commenced on 1 September this year. This will require a web-based register of lobbying to be implemented by SIPO, designed to bring far greater transparency in relation to those communicating with public officials and public policy matters. The register launched on 1 May this year.
On company law, Moriarty recommended that a provision similar to section 172 of the UK Companies Act 2006 be adopted in relation to directors' statutory duties. The Minister, Deputy Bruton, stated that he considered this to be covered by Part 5 of the Companies Act 2014, which came into force on 1 June last year and which provides for the codification of directors' duties.
On Revenue matters, section 101 of the Ministers and Secretaries Act placed on a statutory footing the independence of the Revenue Commissioners in exercising the statutory functions provided to it under taxation and customs enactments. With regard to other recommendations on this issue, namely, representations to the Revenue Commissioners by officeholders and transmission to other agencies of information obtained by the Revenue Commissioners under bilateral arrangements, the Minister, Deputy Noonan, has stated that these matters have been considered and will be considered in the future.
On regulation, the Minister, Deputy Noonan, identified a number of specific actions. A new fitness and probity regime was introduced in accordance with the Central Bank Reform Act. The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 attempts to strengthen the ability of the Central Bank to impose and supervise compliance with regulatory requirements and to undertake timely prudential interventions. A number of EU actions are cited as contributing to the improvement of the financial regime. Agreement was reached on the single supervisory mechanism in relation to the supervision by the ECB of systematic important banks within the Union.
The Moriarty tribunal made a number of observations about the operation of tribunals of inquiry. The Tribunals of Inquiry Bill 2005 awaits Report Stage debate in the Dáil. While it is not directly related to the operation of tribunals of inquiry alone, the introduction of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 should be noted. It provides for a prohibition on penalising workers who make protected disclosures. It has been noted by Transparency International that a wide definition of "worker" has been provided in the legislation.