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Protected Disclosures Annual Reports

Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 requires each public body to prepare and publish each year a report regarding the preceding year on an anonymised basis setting out

(a) the number of protected disclosures made to the public body and   

(b) the action (if any) taken in response to those protected disclosures.

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 provides for the protection of employees from dismissal or other detriment suffered as a result of raising in good faith a concern regarding potential wrongdoing that has come to their attention in the workplace. The Act sets out a number of ways in which disclosures can be made – for example, to a person’s employer and, in some circumstances, to an external ‘prescribed’ person.

The Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation (referred to in the Protected Disclosure regulations as the Secretary to the Standards in Public Office Commission) is a prescribed person under the protected disclosures legislation (Statutory Instrument 339 of 2014, as amended by Statutory Instrument 448 of 2015).

This means that disclosures about the following may be made to the Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation:

i)        All matters relating to the supervision of the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001 in so far as they apply to specified persons and to members of the Oireachtas who are not office holders, within the meaning of those Acts, including investigations and reports in relation to possible contraventions of those Acts.

ii)       All matters relating to the supervision of the Electoral Acts 1992 to 2014 in regard to—

(1)    the disclosure of donations to political parties, members of the Oireachtas, members of the European Parliament, and candidates at elections to Dáil Éireann, Seanad Éireann and the European Parliament,

(2)    the obligations of third parties,

(3)    the obligations of corporate donors,

(4)    the monitoring of limitations on expenditure by election candidates and political parties, and

(5)    the expenditure of Exchequer Funding received by qualified political parties.

iii)     All matters relating to the supervision of the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act 2014 (No 6 of 2014) in regard to the expenditure of funding (Parliamentary Activities Allowances) received by the leaders of qualified political parties and by independent members of the Oireachtas.

The annual reports by year can be viewed below: