Watchdog calls for reform of political party funding

Files have been sent to the gardaí and DPP by political funding watchdogs in relation to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil branches.

Standards in Public Office (Sipo) took the step in regards to sections of the parties in Kildare and Dublin.

Sipo used its annual report to call for reform of the law to ensure a more accurate investigation of party political funding.

“It is a matter of some regret that some accounting units continue to fail to co-operate with the Commission and only comply with their statutory obligations once the matter is referred to the DPP/Gardaí,” the Sipo report stated.

Sipo sent files on four accounting units from political parties — branches or subordinate parts — to the gardaí and DPP on June 4 for not providing the required documentation.

Full documentation from a Fine Gael accounting unit in Clane, Kildare North and a Fianna Fáil unit in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, were still not supplied at the time of compiling the report, which also stated: “The situation in relation to the Fine Gael, Partry, Co Mayo, accounting unit is still with the gardaí.”

The Sipo review showed that political parties received donations worth €171,644 in 2013. With only individual donations of more than €1,500 having to be made public, Fine Gael took the most with€112,625, then came the Socialist Party with €25,980, Sinn Féin €21,084, Workers and Unemployed Action, €5,000, Greens, €4,880 and the United Left Alliance, €2,075.


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