Designated Public Officials

The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015

Designated Public Officials – Department of Defence

The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 commenced on 1st September 2015.

The Act provides that the Standards in Public Office Commission will establish and maintain an online Register of lobbying activity - www.lobbying.ie . The purpose of the Register is to make information available to the public on the identity of those communicating with designated public officials on specific policy, legislative matters or prospective decisions. Lobbyists must report on their interactions with the Designated Public Officials.

Section 6(4) of the Act requires each public body to publish a list of designated public officials of the body. The purpose of the list is twofold:

1. To allow members of the public identify those persons who are designated public officials; and

2. As a resource for lobbyists filing a return to the Register who may not need to source a designated public official’s details.

The Designated Public Officials of the Department of Defence under this legislation are:

Leo Varadkar, TD                  Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

Paul Kehoe, TD                     Minister of State at the Department of Defence with Special Responsibility for Defence

John Coughlan                      Advisor to Minister of State Paul Kehoe

Niall O'Connor                       Advisor to Minister of State Paul Kehoe

Maurice Quinn                       Secretary General

Des Dowling                          Assistant Secretary

Ciaran Murphy                       Assistant Secretary

Robert Mooney                      Assistant Secretary

Clare Tiernan                         Director


Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 - Working Groups operating in line with the requirements of the Transparency Code

The purpose of the Transparency Code is to ensure that Designated Public Officials understand how the system works and how they can support the effective implementation of the legislation. While Designated Public Officials are not the focus of the rules regarding the registration and reporting of lobbying, any relevant communication with a Designated Public Official must be reported by the lobbyists in accordance with the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.

The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2105 does not seek to capture and register interactions within groups, such as task forces and working groups as lobbying communications, where appropriate transparency arrangements are in place. The Transparency Code outlines the groups to which these arrangements apply, and the transparency arrangements themselves. The Transparency Code is available here.