Ireland

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Question Value
1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Foreign donations are not permitted. A foreign donation is defined as a donation from an individual who is not resident in the island of Ireland and is not an Irish citizen. A foreign donation also includes a donation from a corporate, or unincorporated, body of persons which does not keep an office in Ireland from which one or more of its principal activities may be redirected. A foreign donation must be notified and remitted to the Standards Commission within 14 days of its receipt. As an alternative, the donation may be returned to the donor within 14 days. If the donation is returned, a written record of such return is to be kept for the purpose of its being furnished to the Standards Commission, if required.

    Source GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.13.

2. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II).

3. Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Donations from private businesses are subject to the normal rules attaching to the acceptance and disclosure of donations.

    Source GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.12.

4. Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II).

5. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Companies, trades unions, building societies and other "friendly” societies must provide details in their annual report/return of all donations exceeding 5,078.95 EUR in value made by them. The report must identify the value of each such donation and the person(s) to whom the donation(s) was made. These reports/returns are not furnished to the Standards Commission, but to the Companies Registration Office or to the Office of the Registrar of Friendly Societies, as applicable.

    Source GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.17. See also Electoral Act No. 25, 1997.

     

6. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II).

7. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo, but specific limit
  • Comment

    Ban on anonymous donations exceeding €100.

  • Source

    Art 23 (1). A political party, a member of either House of the Oireachtas, a representative in the European Parliament or third party or a candidate at a Dáil, Seanad or European election shall not, directly or through any intermediary, accept a donation exceeding £100 €100 in value unless the name and address of the person by or on whose behalf the donation is made are known to the party, member, representative, third party or candidate, as the case may be.

    Source: Electoral Act No. 25, 1997. Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2001, Section 49 (c). Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 8.

8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo, but specific limit
  • Comment

    Ban on anonymous donations exceeding € 100.

  • Source

    Art 23 (1). A political party, a member of either House of the Oireachtas, a representative in the European Parliament or third party or a candidate at a Dáil, Seanad or European election shall not, directly or through any intermediary, accept a donation exceeding £100 €100 in value unless the name and address of the person by or on whose behalf the donation is made are known to the party, member, representative, third party or candidate, as the case may be.

    Source: Electoral Act No. 25, 1997. Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2001, Section 49 (c). Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 8.

    Art. 47 (1). A candidate at a presidential election or third party shall not, directly or through any intermediary, accept a donation exceeding £100 €100 in value unless the name and address of the person by or on whose behalf the donation is made are known to the candidate.

    Source: Electoral Act No. 25, 1997. Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 19. Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2001, Section 49(g)(i) and (ii).

9. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II).

10. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II).

11. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II).

12. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II).

13. Is there a ban on the use of state resources in favour or against a political party or candidate?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
14. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period?
  • CodeYes, for both natural and legal persons
  • Comment
  • Source

    Art 23A (1). (1) Without prejudice to subsection (2), none of the following persons, namely (a) a member of either House of the Oireachtas, (b) a member of the European Parliament, (c) a candidate at a Dáil, Seanad or European election, (d) a political party, (e) a third party, or (f) an accounting unit, shall, directly or through any intermediary, accept from a particular person in a particular year (i) a donation the value of which exceeds, in case the first-mentioned person falls within paragraph (a), (b), or (c), €1,000, (ii) a donation the value of which exceeds, in case the first-mentioned person falls within paragraph (d), (e), or (f), €2,500, or (iii) a donation of cash of an amount which exceeds €200.

    Source: Electoral Act No. 25, 1997. Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 9.

15. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period, what is the limit?
  • Code Annual limit is € 2.500
  • Comment
  • Source

    Art 23A (1). (1) Without prejudice to subsection (2), none of the following persons, namely (a) a member of either House of the Oireachtas, (b) a member of the European Parliament, (c) a candidate at a Dáil, Seanad or European election, (d) a political party, (e) a third party, or (f) an accounting unit, shall, directly or through any intermediary, accept from a particular person in a particular year (i) a donation the value of which exceeds, in case the first-mentioned person falls within paragraph (a), (b), or (c), €1,000, (ii) a donation the value of which exceeds, in case the first-mentioned person falls within paragraph (d), (e), or (f), €2,500.

    Source: Electoral Act No. 25, 1997. Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 9.

16. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    No specific contribution limit in relation to elections, annual limit applies.

  • Source
17. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
18. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate?
  • CodeYes, for both natural and legal persons
  • Comment
  • Source

    Art 23A (1). (1) Without prejudice to subsection (2), none of the following persons, namely (a) a member of either House of the Oireachtas, (b) a member of the European Parliament, (c) a candidate at a Dáil, Seanad or European election, (d) a political party, (e) a third party, or (f) an accounting unit, shall, directly or through any intermediary, accept from a particular person in a particular year (i) a donation the value of which exceeds, in case the first-mentioned person falls within paragraph (a), (b), or (c), €1,000, (ii) a donation the value of which exceeds, in case the first-mentioned person falls within paragraph (d), (e), or (f), €2,500, or (iii) a donation of cash of an amount which exceeds €200.

    Source: Electoral Act No. 25, 1997. Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 9.

19. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate, what is the limit?
  • Code Annual limit is 1.000.
  • Comment
  • Source

    Art 23A (1). (1) Without prejudice to subsection (2), none of the following persons, namely (a) a member of either House of the Oireachtas, (b) a member of the European Parliament, (c) a candidate at a Dáil, Seanad or European election, (d) a political party, (e) a third party, or (f) an accounting unit, shall, directly or through any intermediary, accept from a particular person in a particular year (i) a donation the value of which exceeds, in case the first-mentioned person falls within paragraph (a), (b), or (c), €1,000.

    Source: Electoral Act No. 25, 1997. Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 9.

20. Is there a limit on the amount a candidate can contribute to their own election campaign?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
21. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    If a contribution is regarded as a donation, the rules attaching to the acceptance and disclosure of donations apply irrespective of whether the donation is a monetary one or not.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 11.

22. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    If a contribution is regarded as a donation, the rules attaching to the acceptance and disclosure of donations apply irrespective of whether the donation is a monetary one or not.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 11.

23. Is there a ban on political parties engaging in commercial activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
24. Is there a ban on political parties taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Loans


    49. The legislation does not make specific provision in relation to loans. It does indicate, however, that goods, property or services provided free or at below market cost may be regarded as donations. The Standards Commission has issued legally binding guidelines which state that where a loan is provided to a political party/candidate/third party by a financial institution and the normal rules attaching to such loans apply, the loan is not regarded as a donation. However,
    where a loan is provided by a financial institution in circumstances where either the interest charged is less than the lowest rate available from the financial institution or the loan is not repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions under which the loan was issued or is only partially repaid, the benefit to the candidate may be regarded as a donation and may, therefore, be subject to the disclosure and maximum limits applying to the acceptance of donations.


    50. Where an individual or body, who or which is not a financial institution, gives a loan to a political party/candidate/third party, it must be evident that the loan offered is a bona fide loan. In that regard, the following would apply: - as with a loan from a financial institution, the terms and conditions applying to the loan and its repayment must be stated clearly in writing; - interest is chargeable on the loan at a rate (whether fixed or variable) which reflects the interest charged by financial institutions on loans of a similar amount and duration. Where the interest charged is less than the lowest rate available from a financial institution, the benefit accruing from the difference in rates is regarded as a donation; the Standards Commission may require sight of the terms and conditions, including the interest charge, applying to the loan and may require confirmation that the loan has been repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions, or if it is only partly repaid, the benefit of such non-repayment may be regarded as a donation.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 11-12.

25. Is there a ban on candidates taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Loans


    49. The legislation does not make specific provision in relation to loans. It does indicate, however, that goods, property or services provided free or at below market cost may be regarded as donations. The Standards Commission has issued legally binding guidelines which state that where a loan is provided to a political party/candidate/third party by a financial institution and the normal rules attaching to such loans apply, the loan is not regarded as a donation. However,
    where a loan is provided by a financial institution in circumstances where either the interest charged is less than the lowest rate available from the financial institution or the loan is not repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions under which the loan was issued or is only partially repaid, the benefit to the candidate may be regarded as a donation and may, therefore, be subject to the disclosure and maximum limits applying to the acceptance of donations.


    50. Where an individual or body, who or which is not a financial institution, gives a loan to a political party/candidate/third party, it must be evident that the loan offered is a bona fide loan. In that regard, the following would apply: - as with a loan from a financial institution, the terms and conditions applying to the loan and its repayment must be stated clearly in writing; - interest is chargeable on the loan at a rate (whether fixed or variable) which reflects the interest charged by financial institutions on loans of a similar amount and duration. Where the interest charged is less than the lowest rate available from a financial institution, the benefit accruing from the difference in rates is regarded as a donation; the Standards Commission may require sight of the terms and conditions, including the interest charge, applying to the loan and may require confirmation that the loan has been repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions, or if it is only partly repaid, the benefit of such non-repayment may be regarded as a donation.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 11-12.

26. Is there a ban on donors to political parties/candidates participating in public tender/procurement processes?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

Question Value
28. Are there provisions for direct public funding to political parties?
  • CodeYes, both regularly provided funding and in relation to campaigns
  • Comment
  • Source

    Public funding


    Direct public funding


    25. There are three main ways of public funding in Ireland: (i) exchequer funding for qualified political parties (Section 18(1) of the Electoral Acts); (ii) funding for qualified candidates for the reimbursement of their election expenses (Section 21, Electoral Acts); and (iii) funding for parliamentary leaders of qualified political parties in relation to expenses arising from parliamentary activities8, including research (Section 1.10(1), Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act, 2001, so-called Party Leaders Allowance Act). State subsidies are exempt from income tax and are not reckoned in computing the income of a party for the purposes of the Income Tax Acts.

    Source GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.7.

29. What are the eligibility criteria for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeShare of votes in previous election | Registration as a political party
  • Comment
  • Source

    In order to qualify for exchequer funding a political party must be included in the Register of Political Parties and must have obtained at least 2% of the first preference votes at the last Dáil general election.

    Source GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 7.

30. What is the allocation calculation for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeProportional to votes received
  • Comment
  • Source

    The allocation for each qualified party is determined by expressing the first preference votes received by the candidates of each qualified party at the last Dáil general election as a proportion of the total first preference votes received at the election by the candidates of all qualified parties.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 7.

31. What are the provisions on 'ear marking' direct public funding to political parties (how it should be used)?
  • CodeOngoing party activities | Intra-party institution | Research and policy initiatives
  • Comment

    Moreover, the funding is also deemed to include provision in respect of expenditure in relation to the promotion of participation by women and young persons in political activity.

  • Source

    In accordance with Section 18 of the Electoral Act 1997 (as amended), the funds received by qualified parties must be applied to the general conduct and management of the party's affairs and the lawful pursuit by it of any of its objectives and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, any or all of the  following purposes, namely: the general administration of the party; research, education and training; policy formulation; and the co-ordination of the activities of the branches and members of the party. The funding received is also deemed to include provision in respect of expenditure by qualified parties in relation to the promotion of participation by women and young persons in political activity. Public funding cannot be applied to, or be used to recoup, election or referendum expenses.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 8.

32. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    [A]t elections, political parties get free airtime from the national broadcaster for their party political broadcast (i.e. three minute segments produced by parties and broadcast at no cost during the election campaign).

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 9.

33. What criteria determine allocation for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeNumber of candidates | Share of votes in preceding election
  • Comment
  • Source

    Election broadcasting [...] available to any party or group fielding at least seven candidates. [...] Time allocated to each group is based on the group's votes in last election and number and geographical spread of its candidates.

    Source: Bruce E. Cain, Russell J. Dalton, Susan E. Scarrow (2003) Democracy transformed?: expanding political opportunities in advanced industrial democracies, Oxford University Press, Oxford, p. 103.

    This broadcast time is allocated to political parties on the basis of the first preference results from the previous general elections.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 9.

34. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    independent candidates are also afforded some coverage in the news.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 9.

35. Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?
  • Code Other
  • Comment
  • Source

    Some election candidates who were already public representatives (e.g. MEPs, Senators and local authority members) might be required to communicate with their constituents during theelection period. Similarly, outgoing members of the Dáil (or Dáil candidates who are Senators) also have residual constituency business to conduct. In such cases, it appears to be difficult to clearly distinguish what constitutes reckonable expenditure for electoral purposes and other public representative activity. Arising from Irish case law, where property, services or facilities are used for electoral purposes during the election period and the costs were originally met out of public funds, such costs must be accounted for as election expenses at their full commercial value. In accordance with the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act of 2006, statutory guidelines on the use of Oireachtas facilities for outgoing members of the Dáil have been introduced in order to identify and notify to members the services and facilities which would or would not be available to them following a dissolution of the Dáil, as well as to set out how members would be required to certify (on the basis of their own self-assessment) and reimburse the Oireachtas Commission for the use of publicly funded services and facilities other than in respect of duties as a public representative. The aforementioned guidelines mainly concern those services and  facilities which continued post-dissolution, i.e. secretarial staff, use of office and ICT equipment, access to Leinster House offices and use of telephone and copying facilities. The guidelines also cover the use of facilities which ceased to be available on dissolution but which could be retained for use following dissolution, e.g. material printed in the Leinster House printing facility, pre-paid envelopes and stationery.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 9.

36. Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties tied to gender equality among candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    if parties fail to respect legislative quotas they lose half of the State funding they receive annually. the law foresees an increasing in the legislative quota from 30 per cento to 40 per cent for elections to be held in 2020

  • Source

    "Section 17 of the Electoral Act 1997 [As amended through the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Art 42] '(a) Payments calculated in accordance with this part shall be reduced by 50 per cent, unless at least 30 per cent of the candidates whose candidatures were authenticated by the qualified party at the preceding general election were women and at least 30 per cent were men.(b) Paragraph (a)(i) comes into operation on the polling day at the general election held next after section42 of the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012 comes into operation, and(ii) ceases to have effect on the polling day at the general election held next after the expiration of 7 years from the polling day specified in subparagraph (i).(c) Payments calculated in accordance with this Part shall be reduced by 50 per cent, unless at least 40 per cent of the candidates whose candidatures were authenticated by the qualified party at the preceding general election were women and at least 40 per cent were men.(d) Paragraph (c) comes into operation on the day after the day on which paragraph (a) ceases to have effect"

    Source: Electoral (amendment) (political funding) Act, 2012

37. Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?
  • CodeYes, funds earmarked for gender activities
  • Comment
  • Source

    pag. 8 "In accordance with Section 18 of the Electoral Act 1997 (as amended), the funds received by qualified parties must be applied to the general conduct and management of the party's affairs and the lawful pursuit by it of any of its objectives and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, any or all of the following purposes, namely: the general administration of the party; research, education and training; policy formulation; and the co-ordination of the activities of the branches and members of the party. The funding received is also deemed to include provision in respect of expenditure by qualified parties in relation to the promotion of participation by women and young persons in political activity. Public funding cannot be applied to, or be used to recoup, election or referendum expenses"

    Source: GRECO(2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparecy on party funding (themeII), GRECO third Evaluation Round, Strasbourg March 2009

Question Value
38. Is there a ban on vote buying?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    96. (1) A person shall not, in relation to an election: (a) give valuable consideration to induce a voter to vote, or to procure the election of any person or the vote of any voter, or on account of a voter having voted, or (b) procure, by means of, or in consequence of, valuable consideration, the election of any person or the vote of any voter, or (c) withdraw or refrain from withdrawing, in consequence of any valuable consideration, from being a candidate, or (d) induce, by means of, or in consequence of, valuable consideration, any person to withdraw or to refrain from withdrawing from being a candidate, or (e) receive, agree or contract to receive, valuable consideration for voting or agreeing to vote.

    Source: Local Elections Regulations, 1995

39. Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Statutory spending limits are not provided for political parties.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.13.

40. If there are limits on the amount a political party can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
41. Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Limits apply in relation to spending at Dáil and European elections.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.13.

42. If there are limits on the amount a candidate can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeEuropean election: € 230.000 | 3 seat constituency at a Dáil general or by-election: € 30,150 | 4 seat constituency at a Dáil general or by-election: € 37,650 | 5 seat constituency at a Dáil general or by-election: € 45,200
  • Comment
  • Source

    Limits apply in relation to spending at Dáil and European elections. In particular, the following expenditure limits are provided in relation to candidates: - European election: 230.000 EUR - 3 seat constituency at a Dáil general or by-election: 30,150 EUR - 4 seat constituency at a Dáil general or by-election: 37,650 EUR - 5 seat constituency at a Dáil general or by-election: 45,200 EUR.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.13.

43. Are there limits on the amount that third parties can spend on election campaign activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    There are no limits on the amount of expenditure which may be incurred by a third party at an election.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.14.

44. Are there limits on traditional media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeYes, for political parties | Yes, for candidates | Yes, for third parties
  • Comment
  • Source

    No paid political advertising is allowed on TV and radio during the election campaign.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 9.

45. Are there limits on online media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
46. Do any other restrictions on online media advertisement (beyond limits) exist?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source

Question Value
47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political parties and individual candidates receiving a monetary donation exceeding 126.97 EUR must open and maintain a political donations account and furnish a Donation Statement comprising the corresponding annual returns of such account to the Standards Commission every year (political parties by 31 March and elected representatives by 31 January, respectively; unsuccessful candidates must furnish a donation statement within 56 days of polling day). The Donation Statement, is accompanied by a Statutory Declaration stating that the information on the Donation Statement is correct and that all reasonable action has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The Donation Statement/Statutory Declaration must detail all donations over 5,078.95 EUR (for political parties) and 634,87 EUR (for elected representatives and unsuccessful election candidates), including information on their actual value and nature (i.e. cheque, cash or property/goods), as well as the name, address and description of the donor (i.e. whether the donor is an individual, company, etc.). Donation Statements do not include details on debts and assets of political parties/candidates. The Donation Statement/Statutory Declaration must be accompanied by i) a Bank Statement provided by the financial institution in which the bank account was opened and ii) a Certificate of Monetary Donations confirming that all monetary donations received during the year were lodged to the account and that all amounts debited from the account were used for political purposes.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.15.

48. Do political parties have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political parties/candidates (through their national/election agents) are also required to furnish Election Expenses Statements at Dáil and European elections.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.15.

49. Do candidates have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political parties/candidates (through their national/election agents) are also required to furnish Election Expenses Statements at Dáil and European elections.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.15.

50. Do third parties have to report on election campaign finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Expenditure incurred by political parties at local authority elections is accounted for under the Local Elections (Disclosure of Donations and Expenditure) Act 1999. Candidates, national agents and designated persons of political parties and third parties are to submit details of election expenditure to their relevant local authority within 90 days of polling day.

    Third parties are required to open political donations accounts and to deliver a Bank Statement and a Certificate of Monetary Donations to the Standards Commission. Third parties are exempted from the obligation to furnish a Donation Statement.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.16.

51. Is information in reports from political parties and/or candidates to be made public?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Though donations will only be disclosed if they exceed a certain level.

  • Source

    Details of the donations disclosed by political parties, candidates and individual donors are available in the Standards Commission website.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.17.

52. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates reveal the identity of donors?
  • CodeSometimes
  • Comment

    The identity of donors must only be revealed if the donation is over € 5,078.95 for political parties and € 634,87  for elected representatives and unsuccessful election candidates.

  • Source

    The Donation Statement/Statutory Declaration must detail all donations over 5,078.95 EUR (for political parties) and 634,87 EUR (for elected representatives and unsuccessful election candidates), including information on their actual value and nature (i.e. cheque, cash or property/goods), as well as the name, address and description of the donor (i.e. whether the donor is an individual, company, etc.).

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.15.

53. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized income?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Ireland has developed a thorough system of regulation of party finance, which has been coupled, in practice, with the proactive and independent monitoring and advisory role played by the Standards in Public Office Commission. That said, further steps need to be taken in order to further increase transparency and to enhance control in this area. In particular, although donations (over a certain threshold) and expenditure (exchequer and election spending) statements are published, it is crucial that full party accounts, including itemised information on the total annual income and expenditure, debts and assets of political parties, are also made publicly available.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 27.

54. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized spending?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Ireland has developed a thorough system of regulation of party finance, which has been coupled, in practice, with the proactive and independent monitoring and advisory role played by the Standards in Public Office Commission. That said, further steps need to be taken in order to further increase transparency and to enhance control in this area. In particular, although donations (over a certain threshold) and expenditure (exchequer and election spending) statements are published, it is crucial that full party accounts, including itemised information on the total annual income and expenditure, debts and assets of political parties, are also made publicly available.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 27.

55. Which institution(s) receives financial reports from political parties and/or candidates?
  • CodeOther
  • Comment

    Standards in Public Office Commission.

  • Source

    Political parties and individual candidates receiving a monetary donation exceeding 126.97 EUR must open and maintain a political donations account and furnish a Donation Statement comprising the corresponding annual returns of such account to the Standards Commission every year (political parties by 31 March and elected representatives by 31 January, respectively; unsuccessful candidates must furnish a donation statement within 56 days of polling day). The Donation Statement, is accompanied by a Statutory Declaration stating that the information on the Donation Statement is correct and that all reasonable action has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The Donation Statement/Statutory Declaration must detail all donations over 5,078.95 EUR (for political parties) and 634,87 EUR (for elected representatives and unsuccessful election candidates), including information on their actual value and nature (i.e. cheque, cash or property/goods), as well as the name, address and description of the donor (i.e. whether the donor is an individual, company, etc.). Donation Statements do not include details on debts and assets of political parties/candidates. The Donation Statement/Statutory Declaration must be accompanied by i) a Bank Statement provided by the financial institution in which the bank account was opened and ii) a Certificate of Monetary Donations confirming that all monetary donations received during the year were lodged to the account and that all amounts debited from the account were used for political purposes.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 15.

56. Which institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeYes, other
  • Comment

    Standards in Public Office Commission, the Gardai (police).

  • Source

    As per the examining and investigative role of the Standards Commission, all of the statutory documentation furnished to the Standards Commission is reviewed. In general, unless there isevidence to the contrary, the documents are accepted as being accurate, subject to anyamendments that may be required to correct minor errors or omissions. When suspected violations of political financing regulations exist, the Standards Commission may make enquiries, as it considers appropriate, and may require any person to submit any information, document orthing in the possession or procurement of the person for the purposes of carrying out its dutiesunder the Electoral Acts. The Standards Commission carries out enquiries under the ElectoralActs in response to specific complaints received, issues arising in the media, or at the Tribunalsof Inquiry, or on its own initiative [...]. When the Standards Commission is of the opinion that a contravention may have taken place, itmust inform the person who has furnished the documentation of the possible contravention andafford him/her 14 days to provide comments on the matter. The Standards Commission musthave regard to any such comments. If, having regard to the person's comments, the StandardsCommission is still of the opinion that a contravention of the Act has taken place it must furnish areport on the matter and any other relevant information to the DPP. Where the Standards Commission is of the view that an offence has occurred it will refer the matter to the Gardai for investigation of the offence. The Standards Commission does not have prosecutorial/enforcement powers; all offences under the Electoral Acts must be prosecuted by or with the consent of the DPP.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), pp. 18-19.

57. What power is granted to the institution(s) responsible for examining reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeRefer for investigation | Carry out investigation | Request additional information from potential violator | Request additional information from others
  • Comment
  • Source

    When suspected violations of political financing regulations exist, the Standards Commission may make enquiries, as it considers appropriate, and may require any person to submit any information, document or thing in the possession or procurement of the person for the purposes of carrying out its duties under the Electoral Acts. The Standards Commission carries out enquiries under the Electoral Acts in response to specific complaints received, issues arising in the media, or at the Tribunals of Inquiry, or on its own initiative.

    When the Standards Commission is of the opinion that a contravention may have taken place, it must inform the person who has furnished the documentation of the possible contravention and afford him/her 14 days to provide comments on the matter. The Standards Commission must have regard to any such comments. If, having regard to the person's comments, the Standards Commission is still of the opinion that a contravention of the Act has taken place it must furnish a report on the matter and any other relevant information to the DPP. Where the Standards Commission is of the view that an offence has occurred it will refer the matter to the Gardaí for investigation of the offence. The Standards Commission does not have prosecutorial/enforcement powers; all offences under the Electoral Acts must be prosecuted by or with the consent of the DPP.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), pp. 18-19.

58. What sanctions are provided for political finance infractions?
  • CodeFines | Prison | Loss of public funding | Other
  • Comment
  • Source

    Irish legislation provides for a broad and flexible range of sanctions when infringements of partyfunding rules occur, including monetary fines, withdrawal of public funds, disqualificationpenalties and imprisonment in the event of serious breaches of legislation.

    Source: GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Ireland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p. 26. See also Electoral Act No. 25, 1997.

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