Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (347)

Cian O'Callaghan

Question:

347. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if recently retired and resigned local authority planning officials are subject to a cooling-off period after they retire or resign before they can go out on their own as private sector planners; if so, the length of the cooling-off period; if there is an enforcement mechanism in circumstances in which there is a suspected breach; if so, the body which holds the enforcement powers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7367/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Code of Conduct for Employees in a Local Authority, which issued under Section 169 of the Local Government Act, 2001 deals with these matters.

An employee intending to accept an appointment that could give rise to a conflict of interest should inform the appropriate authority of such intention. An employee below Director of Services level should inform or apply, as appropriate, to the Chief Executive of the local authority in which he or she is serving.

Also, employees to whom Part 15 of the Local Government Act, 2001 (Ethical Framework for the Local Government Service) applies shall not, within twelve months of resignation or retirement, accept an offer of employment or consultancy engagement where the nature and terms are such that the question of a conflict of interest could arise without obtaining the approval of the appropriate authority. The twelve month period applies to an employee to whom Part 15 of the Local Government Act, 2001 applied at any time during the six month period immediately prior to retirement or resignation.

This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the relevant local authority.