Low standards at SIPO

My complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission regarding the illegal activities of Minister of State, Pat the Cope Gallagher, has been rejected.

Last April, in a cheap publicity stunt, Gallagher illegally erected posters around Croke Park. (Previous posts: one, two, three, four)

The correspondence from SIPO is mostly impenatratable bureaucracy speak but when translated amounts to the following.

SIPO decided to consider my complaint under section 4 of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001. Section 4 states that a complaint may be made if the matter is one of significant public importance.

Significant public importance is defined as a person receiving an alleged benefit of not less than €12,697.

On that basis, the Commission decided that Gallagher’s illegal activities were not of sufficient gravity to warrant an investigation.

We can make the following assumptions arising from this disgraceful decision.

The Litter Pollution Act, 1997 does not apply to government ministers.

Government ministers can, under certain situations/conditions, break the law with impunity.

The State/SIPO does not consider certain law breaking by government ministers as a matter of significant public importance.

2 thoughts on “Low standards at SIPO”

  1. I had the same problem regarding free postage envelopes, when they asked me to name the TD who handed on the stuff to a councillor. I wrote back saying I was not a PI, I had demonstrated a breach and it was their job to investigate. They eventually did something. (minor, but at least something happened)

    I’d write back again using the arguments you’ve used here, and asking them to explain their reasons and how they reached their decision.

    At least it will keep the issue open!!

  2. Thank you, I will be writing back.

    Part of the reason for making these complaints is to challenge government agencies, to expose the fact that they are practically powerless (no accident) and the little power they do have is almost never used – Deliberate policy?

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