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Ethics responsibility restored to Paschal Donohoe after Sipo closes donation complaint

Sipo had looked into a complaint over Donohoe’s failure to to declare a donation of services during the 2016 election campaign.

CABINET HAS RESTORED responsibility for ethics legislation and public office standards to Minister Paschal Donohoe after it was removed from his remit earlier this year over a complaint concerning undeclared donations.

A complaint had been submitted to the Standards in Public Office (Sipo) Commission regarding Donohoe’s failure to declare a donation of services he received during the 2016 election campaign from businessman Michael Stone to the value of around €1,057.

Responsibility for ethics legislation and standards in public office, which usually resides with the Minister for Public Expenditure, were transferred to Minister for Finance Michael McGrath while Sipo looked into the complaint.

In May, Sipo notified Minister Donohoe that the complaint made against him was closed and no further action would be taken. 

Sipo said that an amendment Donohoe made to his election returns in January was “consistent with the Commission’s approach to compliance” and the matter was “not of sufficient gravity” to merit an investigation.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar instructed in June that, given the conclusion of the Sipo process, he believed there was no further need for Donohoe to be recused from the relevant responsibilities and that they should revert to him.

The government has now approved orders to give effect to the transfer of responsibility for functions relating to ethics legislation and Sipo back to Minister Donohoe.

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