Press Release - Report on Seanad General Election 2016

Standards in Public Office Commission
Press Release

Report on Seanad General Election 2016

The Standards in Public Office Commission (the Standards Commission) has today published its report on the 2016 Seanad General Election. The report contains information on election expenses and donations received by the unsuccessful candidates at the April 2016 Seanad General Election.
171 candidates contested the election (125 Panel candidates and 46 University candidates). The names and addresses of panel candidates were provided to the Standards Commission by the Office of the Seanad Returning Officer and by the universities concerned. Forty-three Senators are elected by the vocational panels and six Senators from the 2 university panels were elected (3 from the National University of Ireland and 3 from the University of Dublin (Trinity College).

In accordance with the provisions of Part IV of the Act, unsuccessful candidates at the Seanad general election were required, within 56 days after the relevant day on which the poll closed, to furnish to the Standards Commission a donation statement and accompanying documentation. Details of all donations with a value greater than €600.00 received by unsuccessful candidates in relation to the election were required to be disclosed. The date by which donation statements were required to be received by the Standards Commission was 20 June 2016 in the case of unsuccessful panel candidates and 21 June 2016 in the case of unsuccessful university candidates.

On foot of the 2016 Seanad election, 122 unsuccessful candidates (82 panel candidates and 40 university candidates) were required to submit a donation statement and certificate of monetary donations. Completed donation statements and certificates of monetary donations were required to be returned to the Standards Commission by 20 June 2016 in the case of unsuccessful panel candidates and by 21 June 2016 in the case of unsuccessful university candidates.

98 of the 122 unsuccessful candidates have to date complied with their obligations. In November 2016 the Standards Commission sent files to An Garda Síochana Headquarters concerning the remaining 24 candidates who had failed to return the required statutory documentation.

Successful candidates at the election are required, as members of Seanad Éireann, to furnish an annual donation statement and accompanying documentation to the Standards Commission by 31 January each year. The donation statements to be furnished to the Standards Commission in respect of 2016 by members of Seanad Éireann must include details of any donations received by them during 2016 in relation to the Seanad general election. These statements must be furnished to the Standards Commission by 31 January 2017.

The Standards Commission Report on the Seanad General Election 2016 is available at http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Election-Reports/Seanad-General-Election-25-26-April-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.

The 31st Dáil was dissolved on 3 February 2016. In accordance with section 8 of Article 18 of the Constitution, a general election for the Seanad must take place not later than ninety days after a dissolution of the Dáil. Ballot papers for panel members were issued on 11 April 2016 and the poll was closed on 25 April 2016. Ballot papers for the university constituencies were issued and posted on 21 March 2016 and the poll was closed on 26 April 2016.

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