I propose to take Questions Nos. 225 and 226 together.
The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 applies to designated officials in the Department. The designated officials in the Department are myself, Minister Brendan Griffin TD, the special advisors and the Management Board comprising the Secretary General and six Assistant Secretaries. All of the above are affected by the specific cooling-off period set out in the lobbying legislation.
Additionally, as outlined in the Department's Corporate Governance Framework every member of staff of the Department operates to a defined set of standards as set out in legislation and Codes. Under the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour, any civil servant, following resignation or retirement, who intends to be engaged in or connected with (i) any outside business with which he or she had official dealings or (ii) any outside business that might gain unfair advantage over its competitors by employing him or her must inform the appropriate authority in the Department of such intention.
The Ethics in Public Office legislation places additional obligations on civil servants who hold "designated positions" of employment in terms of their acceptance of appointments within 12 months of resignation or retirement where conflict of interest issues might arise. Those civil servants must obtain the prior approval of the appropriate authority before accepting any appointments.
With the exception of the clerical and executive officer grades all staff appointed in this Department hold "designated positions" under the Ethics legislation. Consequently there are very few staff who have left or retired from the Department who are not bound by one or other of the requirements outlined.
Staff are provided with the Code of Standards and Behaviour on appointment and staff in "designated positions" of employment are asked to make the appropriate declarations under the Ethics legislation throughout their career and in the 12 month period following their retirement.