Wednesday, 8 February 1995
Dáil Éireann Debate
Miss Harney: Is the Taoiseach satisfied that there is no conflict of interest between any holdings that Ministers of State might have in private companies and the job they are expected to do on behalf of the Government?
The Taoiseach: I do not believe there is, but I will review the declarations closely from that point of view. I received some of the declarations recently and I will examine them to satisfy myself that there is no conflict of interest.
Miss Harney: Details in regard to Cabinet Ministers with the exception of two were published in a Sunday newspaper. Is it the intention to publish details of the declarations made by Ministers of State?
The Taoiseach: Any publication of their interests by Ministers has been on an individual basis and has been their own decision in response to queries from a particular newspaper. No obligation has been placed on any officeholder to publish a statement of their interests on a centralised basis. The declarations I have received are not in a form suitable for publication because some of the information provided deals with interests of third parties such as spouses and other relatives. I do not believe it was envisaged at any stage that such information would be published, even under the Ethics in Public Office Bill. The decision I have taken,  which I outlined in response to a previous question by the Deputy in regard to Cabinet Ministers, will also apply to Ministers of State. Government members will publish all information promptly, in full compliance with the Ethics in Public Office Bill when it becomes law, having been finalised by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
The Taoiseach: I think that problems of conflict of interest can arise whether one has a brief that transcends one or more Departments. The general considerations apply in all cases. It would be my intention to ensure that no conflict of interest arises.
The Taoiseach: I do not have the dates of the declarations. If the Deputy wishes to table a question on that matter I can have it examined. All I can say is that all the requisite information has been supplied to me.
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