IAIM saw lobbying as key to CEO role taken by D'Arcy

Ex-minister did not inform ethics watchdog of move to association of investment managers

Former minister of State at the Department  of Finance Michael D’Arcy resigned from the Seanad to take up the post. File photograph: The Irish Times

Former minister of State at the Department of Finance Michael D’Arcy resigned from the Seanad to take up the post. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

Targeting the Government and regulators was a core responsibility of the financial services role ultimately taken up by former minister of State Michael D’Arcy, according to a job specification for the position written in January.

Mr D’Arcy’s move to the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM) sparked political controversy this week, after it emerged he did not inform the Standards In Public Office Commission (Sipo) – the political ethics watchdog – in advance of the move. Mr D’Arcy resigned from the Seanad to take up the post.

According to the job specification, the chief executive’s responsibilities were to include “ensuring that the Association’s policies and views are clearly communicated in a timely manner to target audiences, in particular to Government, government departments and regulators”.

The job specification is still live on the IAIM’s website.

Under legislation introduced in 2015, ministers and senior officials leaving their positions must take a 12-month cooling-off period before doing any lobbying work in the area in which they previously worked. This can be waived or varied if Sipo approves.

Mr D’Arcy and the IAIM have given an undertaking that they will not engage in any lobbying activity for 12 months after he joins. The association has previously lobbied the Government, including Mr D’Arcy, but has not done so for several years. The group has said it obtained legal advice that appointing Mr D’Arcy would not be in breach of the relevant sections of the lobbying act.

The job specification also outlines that the chief executive will be responsible for “monitoring the political, economic, legislative and regulatory environment relevant to the industry” and that “ideally, the successful candidate will have an understanding of the legal and regulatory environment”.

The IAIM and Mr D’Arcy did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday evening.

In an earlier statement, the IAIM said Mr D’Arcy “has always been fully compliant with the guidelines during his time as a politician and will continue to strictly adhere to them now in his new role with the IAIM”.

On Tuesday he wrote to Sipo informing it of his appointment with the group.