Press Release - Report on Dáil General Election 2016

Standards in Public Office Commission
Press Release

Report on Dáil General Election 2016

The Standards in Public Office Commission (the Standards Commission) has today published its report on the 2016 Dáil General Election. The report provides information on election spending disclosed by candidates and political parties, including reported expenditure on property, goods or services used for election purposes during the election period, reimbursement of candidates' election expenses, the disclosure of donations by unsuccessful candidates, and third party activity during the election period. Based on the experience of administering the legislation, the Commission has also identified some recommended changes to the legislation.
The 2016 election period began with the dissolution of the Dáil on 3 February 2016 and ended on polling day on 26 February 2016. Expenditure on property, goods or services outside of this period was not required to be accounted for.

Election expenses of €8.39 million were disclosed by candidates and political parties at the 2016 general election, a decrease of almost 10% on the €11.08 million figure reported for the 2011 election.

In 2016, 321 candidates qualified for reimbursement of election expenses and the total certified for payment to date is €2,701,454.71.

No candidate is reported to have exceeded the statutory expenditure limits. The limits for the 2016 general election were €30,150 (3 seater), €37,650 (4 seater) and €45,200 (5 seater).

If a candidate was unsuccessful at the election, he/she was required to provide to the Standards Commission (by 22 April 2016) a donation statement giving details of all donations received in relation to the election with a value greater than €600.00. Candidates who are elected are required to furnish a Donation Statement to the Standards Commission before 31 January 2017 disclosing donations valued at more than €600.00 received in relation to the Dáil General election of 2016.

Donations with a total value of €112,320.38 were disclosed by 102 unsuccessful candidates (equivalent figure in 2011 was €285,618).

The Standards Commission has referred 66 files to the Gardaí in relation to possible contraventions of the Act at the Dáil election, including failures to return donation statements, certificates of monetary donations, statutory declarations, statements from a financial institution, or election expenses statements.

The Standards Commission report on the 2016 Dáil General Election is available at http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Election-Reports/Dáil-General-Election-26-February-2016/.

Background

The Standards in Public Office Commission is an independent body responsible for overseeing the Ethics in Public Office Acts, the Regulation of Lobbying Act and the Electoral Act 1997 (as amended). The Standards Commission was created by the 2001 Standards in Public Office Act.

Standards in Public Office Commission
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
D02 HE97
Telephone: 01 - 6395666
E-mail: sipo@sipo.ie
Website: www.sipo.ie
Twitter: @SIPOCIreland