On 11th July, 2016 the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D. signed the commencement order allowing the enforcement provisions of the Regulations of Lobbying Act, 2015 to take effect from 1st January, 2017. It was previously expected that the enforcement provisions would take effect from September of this year but the Minister announced that the reason for the delay is to allow anyone involved in lobbying activities more time to familiarise themselves with the new registration system and the legal obligations imposed on lobbyists by the 2015 Act.
Some of the enforcement provisions include the service of a fixed penalty notice of €200.00 for an offence committed as a result of the late filing of returns. Other offences will carry a fine of up to €2,500 on summary conviction or, on indictment, a fine and/or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years. The Standards in Public Office Commission is charged with the power to investigate possible contraventions of the Act and has the authority to prosecute offences.
For more information in relation to lobbying and to ascertain if your activities could be classified as lobbying please refer to our earlier blog on this issue. https://douglaslawsolicitors.ie/are-you-an-accidental-lobbyist/
At Douglas Law Solicitors we are recommending to our clients that they, first of all, establish if the Act applies to them and/or their business activities and if so, that they register and file all necessary returns on www.lobbying.ie Once you have registered we advise that you consider introducing a policy on lobbying for implementation in your business for ease of compliance with your reporting obligations.
For more information in relation to this issue, please contact us at email@example.com or 021 4897256.