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Min Hogan ignores SIPO ruling about paying for Councillor's degree courses


RainyDay

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Some of you may have followed the long saga on this thread about how Dun Laoghaire Rathdown paid out €10k to two councillors to help them do degree courses. The thread ended with a ruling from the Standards in Public Offices Commission telling Minister Hogan that the legislation does not cover degree courses.

In an interesting PQ response this week, Min Hogan has basically told SIPO where to go. He seems to claim that S.I. No. 668 of 2006 allows for such payments, though I can't find anything in the SI to support this.

The Minister's new Local Govt Reform programme does include further restrictions on payments to Councillors for training and education, but that won't come into being for a couple of years. In the meantime, the Minister is allowing Councils to continue to pay for degree courses for Councillors, despite the SIPO ruling.

I've never heard of a Minister ignoring a ruling from SIPO before. Have you?
 

potholedogger

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What happens if the Councillors fail to get reelected? Do they pay the money back?

Do they pay any tax on the free fees?
 

potholedogger

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Remember what Lord Denning M.R. (Master of the Rolls) said: "There are to be no cakes and ale, but cakes and ale for the benefit of the company".
 

potholedogger

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To be fair the public would be likely to benefit from increased education and skills, of a Councillor who failed to get reelected, should they be fortunate enough to get a Job in the Public Service or Civil Service or with some State sponsored agency.
 
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PlanetBertie

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To be fair the public would be likely to benefit from increased education and skills, of a Councillor who failed to get reelected, shold they be fortunate enough to get a Job in the Public Service or Civil Service or with some State sponsored agency.
The Dail is full of educated people and they seem to make the wrong decision all the time.
 

laidback

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Some of you may have followed the long saga on this thread about how Dun Laoghaire Rathdown paid out €10k to two councillors to help them do degree courses. The thread ended with a ruling from the Standards in Public Offices Commission telling Minister Hogan that the legislation does not cover degree courses.

In an interesting PQ response this week, Min Hogan has basically told SIPO where to go. He seems to claim that S.I. No. 668 of 2006 allows for such payments, though I can't find anything in the SI to support this.

The Minister's new Local Govt Reform programme does include further restrictions on payments to Councillors for training and education, but that won't come into being for a couple of years. In the meantime, the Minister is allowing Councils to continue to pay for degree courses for Councillors, despite the SIPO ruling.

I've never heard of a Minister ignoring a ruling from SIPO before. Have you?
I believe that after the MOS exposed Minister Quinn's creative mileage claims, Sipo suggested that in future ministers would submit claims detailing the journey instead of just a monthly mileage claim with no back up. This is obvious good practice. The system did change after the MOS exposure but now Ministers deduct 10% of the mileage claimed for 'personal' use. This means that they can within the rules (they make) charge for all their mileage no matter how much is personal as long as 10% is deducted!
 

ygargarin

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To be fair the public would be likely to benefit from increased education and skills, of a Councillor who failed to get reelected, shold they be fortunate enough to get a Job in the Public Service or Civil Service or with some State sponsored agency.
Would you ever cop on to yourself?
You don't live in Ireland, obviously.
 

PlanetBertie

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All councilers and Members of the Dail should be educated on how to SERVE THE PUBLIC, not SELF-SERVE.
 

Cirio

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To be fair the public would be likely to benefit from increased education and skills, of a Councillor who failed to get reelected, should they be fortunate enough to get a Job in the Public Service or Civil Service or with some State sponsored agency.
There is an argument to be made for such spending in relation to council employees (with adequate cost/benefit returns, etc) but certainly not for councillors. Incidentally, in at least one of the cases under discussion, the councillor in question is a young-ish barrister. I would suggest that the public purse has already discharged its responsibilities in relation to his third-level education.

On a more general note: it's disappointing that such individuals have no sense of propriety. The council should not have funded these courses, but the individuals concerned should have had the decency to come to the only reasonable conclusion and repay the monies without waiting for a ruling.
 

RainyDay

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On a more general note: it's disappointing that such individuals have no sense of propriety. The council should not have funded these courses, but the individuals concerned should have had the decency to come to the only reasonable conclusion and repay the monies without waiting for a ruling.
Indeed - but the system protected itself. If the Councillors had given back the money, that would have exposed the County Manager, and vice versa. So nothing happens, and we foot the bill.
What happens if the Councillors fail to get reelected? Do they pay the money back?
No, they don't. Though interesting enough, the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown education policy for STAFF does have a specific clawback provision for staff who get education supports and leave shortly afterwards. But no such inconveniences for Councillors..

Would you be surprised if a Councillor landed a very well paid state paid job with the new qualifications?
You mean like Killian Forde did with the Immigration Council - albeit an NGO position rather than a state position.
 

Expose the lot of them

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Some of you may have followed the long saga on this thread about how Dun Laoghaire Rathdown paid out €10k to two councillors to help them do degree courses. The thread ended with a ruling from the Standards in Public Offices Commission telling Minister Hogan that the legislation does not cover degree courses.

In an interesting PQ response this week, Min Hogan has basically told SIPO where to go. He seems to claim that S.I. No. 668 of 2006 allows for such payments, though I can't find anything in the SI to support this.

The Minister's new Local Govt Reform programme does include further restrictions on payments to Councillors for training and education, but that won't come into being for a couple of years. In the meantime, the Minister is allowing Councils to continue to pay for degree courses for Councillors, despite the SIPO ruling.

I've never heard of a Minister ignoring a ruling from SIPO before. Have you?
Another, if one were needed, good reason not to pay the household charge.
 
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I'm sure the councils and councillors concerned have no backlog of students needing grants, no students forced to drop out etc. in their area.
-Assumption being made- *No figures to hand
 

emulator

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Oct 20, 2010
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SIPO are less that useless. They are just there for show or to advise Oireachtas members how to bend the rules as much as they can. The have no ability to sanction when they do find something. When they received many complaints regarding Lowry, they just contacted him so he just amend his SIPO declaration.

Reilly did the same with his "unintended error" correction.... no sanctions what so ever. If a member of the public made a declaration and signed it, then, it was later found to be false, what do you think would happen ?
 

Marvar88

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SIPO are less that useless. They are just there for show or to advise Oireachtas members how to bend the rules as much as they can. The have no ability to sanction when they do find something. When they received many complaints regarding Lowry, they just contacted him so he just amend his SIPO declaration.

Reilly did the same with his "unintended error" correction.... no sanctions what so ever. If a member of the public made a declaration and signed it, then, it was later found to be false, what do you think would happen ?
Saddo.

I'd say you go to bed muttering about Reilly.
 

Marvar88

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Did they find him yet Marv ? Don't fear Marv.... hold your nerve !

Have you anything to say regarding the OP ?
Still pretending not to be a shinner fanatic?

Clown.

I do not engage a shinner in genuine debate because ye are irrelevant.
 
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