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Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption publishes report on Ireland

Press Release

Strasbourg, 25 January 2010 - The Council of Europeís Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) today published its Third Round Evaluation Report on Ireland, which focuses on two distinct themes: criminalisation of corruption and transparency of party funding.

The report as a whole addresses 10 recommendations to Ireland. GRECO will assess the implementation of these recommendations in the second half of 2011.

Regarding the criminalisation of corruption [LINK TO REPORT theme I], GRECO recognises that overall, the criminal law of Ireland complies with the relevant provisions of the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and its Additional Protocol.

Nonetheless, GRECO encourages the authorities to proceed with their efforts to clarify the legal framework for corruption offences, notably through the criminalisation of trading in influence as an autonomous offence and the extension of the jurisdiction of Irish authorities to prosecute nationals who commit bribery offences abroad when they do not have the status of public official.

Concerning transparency of party funding [LINK TO REPORT theme II], GRECO praises the thorough regulatory system, as well as the role played by the Standards in Public Office Commission in monitoring compliance.

In the context of the on-going reform process, GRECO recommends additional measures to increase transparency and control over political finances. In particular, it is crucial that full party accounts, including financial information on local branches and so-called third parties, are made publicly available. Moreover, monitoring of political funding at local level is to be reinforced.

GRECO also points out that it is essential that the existing sanctioning system is further regulated, notably by ensuring that all legal requirements are matched with effective sanctions in case of non-respect.

Finally, GRECO advises Ireland to consolidate the currently dispersed rules on party funding into a comprehensive, clear and up-to-date legislative instrument.

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