29 June 2017
The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body, GRECO, has today published a compliance report on Ireland. It relates to Ireland’s compliance with a 2014 evaluation report on corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges, and prosecutors. The original evaluation report contained 11 recommendations for action.
The 2017 compliance report found that Ireland had fully implemented 3 of the recommendations and partly implemented a further 3 recommendations. GRECO has concluded that Ireland’s low level of compliance with the recommendations is “globally unsatisfactory” and Ireland has been asked to report again on progress by 31 March 2018.
Minister Flanagan said “This report is obviously disappointing. While much work is underway in relation to all of the recommendations, we fell short of achieving a good report as the legislation in train is hugely complex”.
The Minister continued “I am committed to achieving a significantly better result next time around. With that in mind, I am establishing a Senior Officials Compliance Committee to ensure we make important progress over the next nine months. The Public Sector Standards Bill, which is being progressed through the Houses by my colleague Minister Paschal Donohoe will address most of the issues in relation to members of Parliament while the enactment of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill and the Judicial Council Bill will address most of GRECO’s concerns regarding the Judiciary.”
Minister Flanagan also noted that he will very soon publish a Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill, which will repeal and replace the seven previous Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 2010 and will introduce some additional offences. The Bill will clarify the liability of corporate bodies for corruption offences. It will extend the range of penalties available to a court when a person is convicted to include forfeiture of public office in certain circumstances. The Bill will make renewed provision for the main requirements of a number of international anti-corruption instruments, which Ireland has already ratified and it will provide for recommendations made in the course of evaluations of Ireland by the various European and International Bodies, including GRECO.