Transparency International (TI) Ireland today launched the first ever survey of Irish political party and candidate commitments to tackling the abuse of power in government and politics. Parties were canvassed on their pledges to crack down on corruption in local and national government as well as throughout the European Union.
According to John Devitt, Chief Executive of TI Ireland, “the results show a large degree of consensus among the main parties on how trust can be restored in government. The key question is, are they ready to turn words into action?”
Questionnaires were distributed to political parties in April and May 2009 and covered issues such as the protection of whistleblowers, the registration of lobbyists, politicians’ expenses, disclosure of political donations, preventing corruption in planning and restoring trust in the banking system.
“Transparency has become something of a buzz-word over the past few months. A lot of people are scrambling to claim the moral high ground in the wake of our failure to stem wrongdoing in our banks. Yet there has been inadequate political will to protect whistleblowers or open lobbying and regulatory agencies to public scrutiny. Hopefully we’ll see greater attention paid to the kind of reforms some of the political parties have spelt out in the survey. Many would help avert future financial and political crises,” added Mr Devitt.
Some of the main findings include:
1. All respondents support the introduction of comprehensive whistleblower legislation for private sector workers as well as public sector employees*
2. There was opposition amongst all parties to the increase in the value of gifts and loans to politicians that can be kept secret. The increase has been as proposed in new ethics legislation brought forward by the Government*
3. Agreement among all political parties taking part in the survey for a register of lobbyists and the publication of registers of interest at local government level*
4. All the main parties support a new EU anti-corruption monitoring programme of all EU member states’ compliance with EU anti-corruption measures
5. There is little agreement on how to restore trust in the banking sector
Of the main parties only Fine Gael, Labour, and Sinn Féin responded to all questions asked, while Fianna Fáil replied to questions on behalf of their European candidates and the Green Party replied to questions on behalf of local and by-election candidates. Libertas did not reply to any of the questions put to them. Only two individual candidates, Ivana Bacik (Dublin Central candidate) and Alex White (Dublin South candidate), both of the Labour Party returned completed individual questionnaires setting out how they would restore trust in government. Other parties answered on behalf of their candidates.
Questions posed to European Parliament candidates in Ireland were also posted to candidates in eleven other EU countries. The questions for local and by-election candidates were based on the findings of the recent Transparency International National Integrity Systems Country Study for Ireland.
See full press release with summary tables of party positions
> Download Fianna Fáil policies on fighting corruption in the EU
> Download Fine Gael policies on fighting corruption in the EU
> Download Fine Gael policies on fighting corruption in Local Government
> Download Fine Gael policies on restoring trust in national politics, government and banking
> Download Fine Gael policies on restoring trust in the banking sector
> Download Labour policies on fighting corruption in the EU (pdf)
> Download Labour policies on fighting corruption in Local Government
> Download Ivana Bacik's policies on restoring trust in national politics, government and banking (pdf)
> Download Alex White's policies on restoring trust in national politics, government and banking (pdf)
> Download Green policies on fighting corruption in Local Government
> Download Green policies on restoring trust in national politics, government and banking
> Download Sinn Féin policies on fighting corruption in Local Government
> Download Sinn Féin policies on restoring trust in national politics, government and banking
> Download Sinn Féin policies on fighting corruption in the EU
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