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Code of Conduct for Panel Members

The objective of the Registration Panel is to ensure high standards of integrity and professionalism are maintained. This Code sets out what is expected of Panel members. It is important Panel members maintain high standards in their role and these standards are made public.

Due to the high-profile of their role, Panel members should be aware that at all times even when they consider themselves to be working in a private capacity, or for another organisation, they may still be viewed as a representative of RISLI. They should therefore be mindful of this Code and commit to meet the standards set out in the Code of Conduct for the Registration Panel (“this Code”).

General Guidelines

Panel members and partners supporting the Register should at all times in the conduct of their duties be cognisant of and follow the values and principles of the Register.

Panel members should at all times:

  • act in good faith and in the sole interests of the Register
  • act in accordance with the Register’s objectives
  • adhere to this Code
  • treat other Panel members equally, fairly, and with respect

Confidentiality

Most  information to which Panel members have access, as part of their role, will be in the public domain. However, there are times they may have access to confidential information. This may include:

  • confidential information pertaining to decisions relating to entry and retention on the Register
  • personal details of persons related to complaints/appeals
  • details contained in reports from other components of the Register, such as Complaints Process Reports, Appeals Process Reports, and Assessment Reports
  • information relating to Panel employees/Secretariat

Panel members should not disclose confidential information to which they have access as part of their role on the Panel, without prior consent of the Panel, or if required to do so by law.

Panel members should be compliant with all requirements set out in the GDPR and Privacy Policy and should take appropriate steps to ensure that confidential documents are stored securely.

Attending meetings

  • Panel members should attend all Registration Panel meetings, and all meetings of sub-committee of which they are a member
  • A quorum for the purposes of a Panel meeting shall be 50% plus one members
  • There may be circumstances in which members are unable to attend a meeting, in which case they should send their apologies as soon as possible to the Panel Chairperson or Secretariat or the relevant sub-committee of the Registration Panel
  • If a Panel member does not attend three consecutive meetings, they are deemed to have resigned

Conflicts of Interest

Panel members are required to disclose any conflict of interest that may arise in considering matters as a Panel member. Specific requirements for the disclosure of interests of members of the Panel is set out in the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995: Any member present at a meeting where a specified matter arises who has a material interest in that matter shall:

  • at the meeting or as soon as he/she is aware of a potential conflict of interest, disclose to the Chairperson of the Panel, the Chairperson of the sub-committee the nature of that conflict
  • if it is deemed to be a conflict of interest, withdraw from the meeting/discussion for as long as the matter is being considered
  • take no part in any deliberation of the members relating to the matter, and
  • refrain from voting on any decision relating to the matter

Where:

  • “material interest” is to be construed in accordance with section 2(3) of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995;
  • “meeting” means a meeting of the Panel or of sub-committees
  • “member” means a member of the Panel or of sub-committees
  • “specified matter” means:
    • An arrangement to which the Panel is a party or a proposed such arrangement, or
    • A contract or other agreement with the Panel or a proposed such contract or other agreement

Should a member disclose a material interest as set out above, the disclosure shall be minuted at the meeting concerned and for as long as the matter to which the disclosure relates is being dealt with by the meeting, the member shall not be counted in the quorum for the meeting in that discussion.

All Panel members must complete a Declaration of No Conflict of Interest and thereafter take personal responsibility for ensuring that it is kept up to date.

To comply with the Ethics in Public Office regulation, members of the Panel should provide a list of their individual interests (as per the definition of the Act) to be maintained by the Secretariat supporting the registration panel.

Members of the Panel and the Secretariat must avoid accepting gifts, hospitality or benefits which could be construed as an attempt to gain influence or favour.

The Panel is discouraged from receiving gifts and there are strict limits placed on the type of gift that can be accepted. In order for a gift to be accepted all of the below conditions must be met:

  • the gift must not be in the form of cash or a cash equivalent (such as a voucher)
  • the gift must be valued at €30 or less (for the purposes of calculating this amount gifts from the same source over a 12 month period should be aggregated)
  • the person/company offering the gift must not be under consideration as part of any relevant procurement process
  • the Chairperson must have consented to the acceptance of the gift by the relevant member

For these purposes, a “gift” is any item or benefit which is given free of charge or at less than its commercial price. Any gift above an estimated value of €30 should be refused or returned. Under no circumstances are members permitted to solicit gifts, directly or indirectly. Members may also not approach any business with which they have contact through their official duties seeking sponsorship or support for themselves or for any individual, club, charitable organisation, association, trade union or other organisation.

In connection with their role within the Panel, members may receive invitations to attend business hospitality events organised or sponsored by third parties. The only forms of business hospitality that may be accepted are the provision of a working meal or invitations to attend educational, knowledge building or networking forums that take place within Ireland and that relate to an area of expertise relevant to the Panel. No other forms of business hospitality (e.g. invitations to sporting or cultural events) may be accepted.

Breach of the Code

  • Any breach of the terms of this Code by a member of the Registration Panel will be dealt with in the first instance informally. For example, the Chairperson of the Panel, or to the appointing body representative in the case of the Chairperson, may draw the breach to the Panel member’s attention during a meeting
  • If a Panel member is concerned that another Panel member may be in breach of the terms of this Code, the matter should be raised with the Panel Chairperson, or to the appointing body representative in the case of the Chairperson
  • Where there is evidence of a deliberate, serious or continued breach of the terms of this Code by a Panel member, this will be taken up by the Panel Chairperson, or to the appointing body representative in the case of the Chairperson, in a specially convened meeting of the Panel
  • If the Secretariat supporting the Register breaches the terms of this Code, this will be dealt with by the Chairperson through their line management

Removal of a Registration Panel Member

A Registration Panel member may be removed from the Panel in the following scenarios:

  • resignation of the Registration Panel member
  • a breach of this Code by the Registration Panel member
  • non-attendance of a Registration Panel member at three successive Panel meetings

A Registration Panel member may resign from the Panel following a letter of resignation to the Chair.  Resignation will take effect at the next Panel meeting.

[1] Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995 Section 2(3): “For the purposes of this Act, a person or a connected person has a material interest in a matter if the consequence or effect— (a) of the performance by the person of a function of his or her office, directorship, designated position, or position as a special adviser, as the case may be, or (b) of any decision made in relation to or in the course or as a result of the performance of such a function by the person, concerning that matter may be to confer on or withhold from the person or the connected person a significant benefit without also conferring it on or withholding it from persons in general or a class of persons which is of significant size having regard to all the circumstances and of which the person or the connected person is a member.” http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1995/act/22/section/2