This morning I had a look at the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995, which covers complaints to the Clerk of the Dail.
According to the legislation the Clerk of the Dail can reject a complaint if he/she is of the opinion that it is frivolous or vexatious.
With that in mind I again rang the Clerk of the Dail to enquire if all 83 complaints received in response to the latest Lowry scandal were deemed frivolous and vexatious
The Clerk can decide not to pass on a complaint to the Committee for Members Interests if he forms the opinion that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or that there’s not sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case in relation to the complaint.
In relation to the complaints received in this case the Clerk will be sending all appropriate complaints, that is, any that are not frivolous or vexatious or whatever he deems to be, to the Committee for attention.
The Clerk of the Dail will write to all complainants (as required in the legislation) outlining his decisions.
The official could not tell me how many were deemed frivolous and vexatious but did confirm that a number of the complaints would be forwarded to the Committee for Members Interests.
Interestingly, she also informed me that complaints were still coming in.
2 thoughts on “Change of tack by Clerk of the Dail? Lowry complaints are to be considered”
What is “frivolous or vexatious” to one Clerk of the Dail
may be justified to another Clerk of the Dail, the inclusion
of those words render the legislation useless.
(which of course is why they’re in there)
In the absence of an opposition in the Dail –something that is essential in a healhy democracy—it is essential that citizens use the vehicle of recourse to the clerk of the Dail or to the Secretary to the Dail committee on procedure and privileges to express their concerns on matters of public importance.
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