This controversy has again highlighted the toothless nature of the State’s ethics watchdog SIPO
Junior Minister Robert Troy must make a comprehensive statement in the Dáil when it returns outlining all of his business interests, according to Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy.
“The drip feed of information, from Robert Troy, has been deeply unsatisfactory. As a junior minister in government, with responsibility for company regulation, it beggars belief that Mr Troy would fail to declare his directorship of a property management company in his Dáil register of members’ interests.
“Mr Troy issued, what he claimed to be, a detailed statement last week – blaming a misapprehension regarding his reporting duties for multiple omissions from his Dáil register of interests. However, further questions, about his business interests and his SIPO declarations, have now arisen.
“Mr Troy confirmed to the Sunday Times that one of his rental properties was not registered with the Residential Tenancies Board – which is a legal requirement. Separately, the Irish Independent reported today that Mr Troy was advocating for an increase in government funding for RAS in 2014 – failing to declare a conflict of interest at a time he was apparently benefiting from the scheme.
“Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar may be satisfied with Mr Troy’s piecemeal statements on this matter, but I am not. Mr Troy must now commit to making a full and detailed statement about his business interests in the Dáil when it returns after recess.
“In the interests of transparency, Mr Troy should also confirm if he has leased out properties to Westmeath County Council, under the RAS scheme, since 2011. He should also confirm the value of those contracts.
“This controversy has again highlighted the toothless nature of the State’s ethics watchdog SIPO – which has been crying out for increased powers of investigation and enforcement for years. Those pleas, to date, have fallen on deaf ears.
“Successive governments have refused to give SIPO the powers it needs to do its job effectively. It is now time for the government to act and provide the watchdog with some badly needed teeth.”
22 August, 2022