Good Governance in the Local government sector and wider public sector is about delivering priorities, achieving objectives, behaving with integrity and acting in the public interest and in ways that are consistent with legal, regulatory and government policy objectives.
These governance principles are implemented by new and improved working structures, including:
- Corporate Plan
- Service Delivery Plan
- Monthly Management Report
- Corporate Policy Group Governance Structure
- Strategic Policy Ccommittee Policy Formulation
- Audit Committee
- National Oversight and Audit Commission
Governance framework in South Dublin County Council
Providing a transparent and accountable local authority is of critical importance to the work the Council does and the trust citizens place in it. The following are some of the key measures taken to ensure the public knows what we do and why we do it.
Regulation of Lobbying
The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 (the Act) is designed to provide information to the public regarding who is lobbying whom about what.
Section 6(4) of the Lobbying Act 2015 requires each public body to publish a list of designated Public Officials of the body. The purpose of the list is twofold:
- To allow members of the public to identify those persons who are designated public officials; and
- As a resource for lobbyists filing a return to the Register who may need to source a designated public official’s details.
A full list of Designated Public Officials and Councillors is available through the attached links.
Code of Conduct
The Standards in Public Office Commission has published a Code of Conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activities. The Code of Conduct came into effect on the 1st January 2019. Persons carrying on lobbying activities are required under section 16(5) of the Act to have regard to the Code of Conduct when carrying on lobbying activities.
Anyone who meets each step of the Three-Step Test must register.
Three-Step Test For a communication to be considered a “relevant communication” for the purposes of the Act it must meet the following criteria:
1) The communication is made by a person or organisation within the scope of the Act;
2) The communication concerns a “relevant matter”; and
3) The communication is directed at a person who is a Designated Public Official (DPO).
Further information concerning the Three-Step Test can be found on the Regulation of Lobbying website (www.lobbying.ie).
The legal definition included in the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015categorises lobbying activity on the basis of communication between certain persons and Designated Public Officials. In light of the nature and frequency of communications between public officials and non-public servants in that type of forum, it would in practical terms be quite challenging to seek to capture and include those interactions in the proposed Register.
The Act provides for an exception from the requirement to register in such cases once specified transparency criteria apply. The particular exception in the Act is for communications between members of certain types of such working groups, task forces, committees, etc. where the group in question complies with this Transparency Code.
All working groups, such as Strategic Policy Committees, operating under South Dublin County Council will be listed on the website, and state that they adhere to the Transparency Code. This page contains a link to the Register of Lobbying.
South Dublin County Council has adopted a Strategic Policy Committee Scheme. The Chairs of each committee have been appointed, and the provisions of the Act will be brought to their attention at the inaugural meetings in November.
Additional information in relation to the membership of the above committees as well as the agendas and minutes are available on the attached links.
Part 15 of the Local Government Act 2001 sets out an ethics framework specific to Councillors, managers and employees and sets out standards of integrity and conduct for the public interest.
This ethics framework requires all Councillors and senior public officials to submit to the Ethics Registrar an annual written declaration of "declarable interests", and a register of interests is published each year. The Council’s Ethics Registrar is Martina Campbell, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information in relation to the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 is available at www.lobbying.ie.
You can find information on our policies in relation to Governance through these links.