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Consultants at Cork and Galway hospitals failed to provide evidence of tax compliance

Sipo investigated the doctors after they missed a deadline by which they had to reply.

shutterstock_521472730 File photo Shutterstock / Andrei_R Shutterstock / Andrei_R / Andrei_R

TWO CONSULTANTS FAILED to provide evidence of tax compliance, the Standards in Public Office (Sipo) Commission has said.

Sipo has today released reports into its investigations into non-compliance of the Ethics in Public Office Acts by Mr Ciaran Brady, consultant at Mercy University Hospital in Cork, and Dr Bryan Jones, consultant at Galway University Hospital.

Under the Standards in Public Office Act 2001, appointees to senior positions of employment in, or to directorships of, public bodies are required to provide evidence to the commission of compliance with taxation legislation within statutory timeframes.

The two consultants failed to comply with their obligations upon their appointment to senior office.

The commission wrote to Brady and Jones on 12 July 2018 advising them of their obligations. Both men had not provided the necessary evidence by the deadline of 11 August.

Sipo, at its meeting on 12 November last, decided to investigate and ultimately found that both men had contravened the 2001 Act. 

As legally required, the commission has given copies of the reports to the Oireachtas as well as the doctors’ employers.

sipo tax Sipo Sipo

In a statement released today, Sipo noted that senior office holders in a wide range of public bodies, not just the medical profession, “must provide evidence of tax compliance on appointment”.

The commission stated that most individuals who are notified of their obligations do comply, adding that it launches an investigation “if an individual fails to comply or does not engage”.

People escaping scrutiny 

The statement added that there “may be a number of appointees to senior office that have escaped scrutiny as not all public bodies notify the commission of appointments to public office”.

For the purposes of ensuring that individuals subject to tax clearance obligations are aware of their obligations and to facilitate compliance, the commission has asked all public bodies to provide details of all relevant appointments made.

There is no statutory requirement for public bodies to do this and, as a result, the commission admitted that adherence to its request has been “inconsistent”.

In its most recent annual report, Sipo noted the difficulties it continues to experience in this regard.

“The commission will continue to pursue the compliance of individual appointees and continue to seek timely information from public bodies about appointments to senior office. Further reports may issue in other cases of non-compliance,” today’s statement added.

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