Call for lobbyists to give more details of their interactions with public officials

The Standards Commission has released its first annual report since new lobbying regulations came into effect last year

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Lobbyists need to give more detail on the circumstances of their interactions with government departments, according to the Standards in Public Offices Commission (SIPO).

The Commission has regulated all lobbying activity in Ireland since September last year.

Under the rules, any group, individual or business seeking to influence public policy - by speaking with or contacting a public representative - must register.

The first report looks at the period up until 21 January 2016, which was the first deadline for registration and returns.

More than 1,100 registrants submitted over 2,500 returns by the end of the deadline.

Head of Lobbying Regulation Sherry Perreault says some returns they have received so far have not been comprehensive enough.

"What we'd like to see is enough detail to get a sense of what exactly they were trying to achieve by communicating with a designated public official," she explained.

However, she also said the report "marks an important milestone in the evolution of ethics regulation in Ireland".