Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (265)

Gerry Adams


265. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will consider including the Irish Tax Institute under the remit of the Ombudsman; if he will consider appointing an independent regulatory body to deal with complaints made by citizens against the Irish Tax Institute; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24176/14]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Ombudsman examines complaints from members of the public who believe that they have been unfairly treated by public bodies. The Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 2012 extended the Ombudsman's remit to some 200 additional public bodies.  I understand that the Irish Tax Institute is primarily a representative and educational body for tax professionals. Under the current legislation it could not be subject to review by the Ombudsman and there are currently no plans to extend the Ombudsman's remit to encompass representative organisations.

  The question of whether an independent regulatory body should be appointed to deal with complaints made against the Irish Tax Institute is a matter - in the first instance - for my colleague the Minister for Finance.  The Department of Finance has advised that, the Irish Tax Institute has established and maintains appropriate professional standards of conduct for its members. A complaints mechanism has been put in place under its Code of Conduct for members and students which allows persons to make a complaint if they believe standards of work and conduct have been breached. Complaints are investigated by an Investigation Committee comprising three Council members and an independent Senior Counsel who is not a member of the Council and the Institute exercises professional discipline as appropriate over those who do not comply with the standards. Details of the standards and the complaints mechanism are available on its website. In these circumstances, it is not considered necessary to appoint an independent regulatory body to deal with complaints made against the Institute.