Overview of the Ethics Acts

The Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and 2001

Na hAchtanna um Eitic in Oifig Phoibli 1995 agus 2001

The Ethics Acts (i.e. the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act 2001):

  • provide for the disclosure of interests, including material interests, which could influence Ministers of the Government, Ministers of State, the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, the Attorney General, members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, directors of public bodies and public servants, including special advisers, in the performance of their official duties;
  • require Oireachtas members including office holders, the Attorney General and senior public servants to furnish evidence of tax compliance;
  • require the drawing up of codes of conduct for Oireachtas members, office holders and civil and public servants.

The operation of the Ethics Acts is supervised by the Standards in Public Office Commission (for non office holding Oireachtas members, by the Select Committees on Members’ Interests). These bodies can investigate infringements of the legislation, either on their own initiative or following a valid complaint.