Written Answers - Ethics in Public Office.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 699 No. 1

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  438.  Deputy Fergus O’Dowd  Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the details of each gift, favour and hospitality received, both over and under the value of €650, since May 2007 to date in 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1513/10]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Deputy will be aware that under the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995, any gift with a value in excess of €650 must be surrendered to the State and the details of same submitted as registrable interests to the Standards in Public Office Commission. The relevant statements of registrable interests are submitted by me as required to the Commission and can be viewed on the Oireachtas website.

Gifts under the value of €650 that have been given to me have, by and large, been small items presented by visiting Ambassadors of other countries, such as books, ornaments, small craft or artwork illustrating their national heritage. Items from other sources include books relating to the heritage of particular hospitals or healthcare providers in Ireland, and small samples of products from domestic companies. Wherever possible and appropriate, I allocate such items for use in the Department of Health and Children, as I consider these gifts to have been given in my capacity as Minister, and not my personal capacity.

The Department has recorded one gift under the value of €650, which accrued directly to the benefit of the Exchequer. I attended the 3rd International Cancer Control Congress as a guest speaker, from November 07-10, 2009 in Cernobbio, Como, Italy. On this occasion, four nights accommodation at a cost of €600 in total was paid for by International Conference [265]Services Ltd., Vancouver, Canada. Since I was invited and attended in my official capacity, the cost otherwise would have been met by the Exchequer.

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