Thursday, 19 September 2019

Ceisteanna (274, 275)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

274. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from her Department in the past ten years who were bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year and sector the staff moved on to; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38148/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

275. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of civil servants who have left and or retired from her Department in the past ten years who were not bound by a cooling-off period in respect of taking up new employment in the private sector by grade, year, and sector the staff moved on to; the reason for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38164/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 274 and 275 together.

Section 22 of the Regulation of Lobbying Act  provides that specific categories of Designated Public Officials (“DPOs”) are subject to a one-year “cooling-off” period, during which they cannot engage in lobbying activities in specific circumstances, or be employed by, or provide services to, a person carrying on lobbying activities in specific circumstances.  

A list of current DPOs is maintained on the website of my Department at the following address

https://www.chg.gov.ie/about/organisation-structure/designated-public-officials/ .

I understand that statistics on the number of applications for consent to waive this cooling off period are included in the annual Regulation of Lobbying report published by the Standards in Public Officer Commission.  My Department does not keep a separate record of such applications.

The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour sets out further guidance on the acceptance of outside appointments and of consultancy engagement following resignation or retirement.  Civil Servants who hold positions which are “designated positions” for purposes of the Ethics Acts shall not, within twelve months of resigning or retiring from the service, accept an offer of appointment from an employer outside the Civil Service or accept an engagement in a particular consultancy project where the nature and terms of such appointment or engagement could lead to a conflict of interest, without first obtaining approval.  Staff are provided with the Code of Standards and Behaviour on appointment and staff in "designated positions" are asked to make the appropriate declarations under the Ethics legislation throughout their career.  I am not aware of any application to my Department by a former employee for approval to accept an appointment.