Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Justice to launch an immediate investigation into the reasons why Ireland’s Judiciary has recorded only a six percent measure of public sector integrity in relation to levels of disclosure of private interests across OECD countries. Deputy McGrath made his comments after the OECD published its ‘Government at a Glance 2015’ Report which examines some 50 indicators comparing government performances across the member states:
“While it is not entirely a surprise, I do find it incredibly disturbing that at every level of government, in all Branches, Ireland has recorded lower levels of public sector integrity than the OECD average.
What is particularly shocking is the 6% rate for our Judicial branch compared to an already low OECD average of 32%.
The Report itself tells us that disclosure of private interests for public officials is an effective tool for managing conflict of interest and preventing apparent and potential conflict of interest situations arising.
In light of that understanding it is clear that we are in serious need of urgent reform of the Judiciary when it comes to ensuring public confidence.
I also think that the Reports indication of Ireland’s score of 13% against the OECD average of 26% for the “at risk” category which would include the likes of tax and customs officials, procurement agents and financial authorities is equally worrying.
It is high time the Minister took the step of initiating a full scale investigation in why this Country continues to allow such obvious conflict of interest scenarios to exist, particularly among the judiciary given todays Report,” concluded Deputy McGrath.