Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (36)

Dan Boyle

Question:

28 Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the extent to which his Department has investigated allegations of bribery in, for example, Galway, involving a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7222/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

As regards the matter raised, correspondence was received in my Department questioning the commercial practices of an organisation which had obtained permission from Galway County Council for a landfill facility. The grant is the subject of an appeal to An Bord Pleanála. The correspondent was advised that if he had evidence of malpractice by local authority officials, he or she should report it to the Garda Síochána or, if appropriate, to the Tribunal of Inquiry into Planning Matters and Payments.

The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2001, provides for a presumption of corruption where there is proof that certain persons in public office have received money or other benefits from a person who has an interest in the way certain functions are carried out or the outcome of certain planning decisions. This provision is designed to make the investigation of corruption an easier task for the law enforcement agencies and it places the onus on the person receiving the payment to prove that the payment is legitimate.