Canadian official to supervise Irish lobbyists

Sipo welcomes appointment as registration system due to launch next week

An experienced Canadian official has been appointed to run Ireland’s new lobbying system which will come into operation next week.

Sherry Perreault, a senior director from Canada’s Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner has been appointed as the first head of Lobbying Regulation in this country.

The appointment has been announced in advance of next week’s launch of the online registration system for lobbying which follows the recent enactment of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.

“I am very much looking forward to playing a role in this important new development in Ireland, which seeks to add a new level of transparency to the process of policy development and political decision-making,” said Ms Perreault.


People engaged in lobbying activity will be able to register on the regulator’s website from May 1st, and will be obliged by law to register lobbying activity that takes place from September 1st next.

The appointment of Ms Perreault was welcomed by the chairman of the Standards in Public Office Commission Mr Justice Daniel O’Keeffe.

“We are delighted that a person with substantial expertise in the area of ethics in public life in another jurisdiction has agreed to take up this position. Ms Perreault will be responsible for overseeing Ireland’s new system for registering and making public lobbying activities.

“She will therefore be making an important contribution towards ensuring transparency and high standards in public life and we wish her well,” he said.

Ms Perreault has been with the Canadian Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner since 2009, and has held her current post as director, policy, research and communications since 2011.

She has significant public sector experience at the federal level in Canada, specialising in policy development and analysis, communications and parliamentary relations.

In her current role, Ms Perreault manages a multi-disciplinary team and directs strategic policy and research, public and media relations, parliamentary affairs, performance measurement and planning, and domestic and international outreach on behalf of the Office.

During her time with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, a branch of the Parliament of Canada, Ms. Perreault contributed to a number of key initiatives, including the Parliamentary reviews of the Conflict of Interest Act and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.

Her previous experience included serving as executive advisor to the Commissioner within the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, as well as posts at the Department of Canadian Heritage, Industry Canada, the Privy Council Office and Transport Canada.

She began her career in the private sector, working in client relations and marketing, before joining the federal public service in 1999.

Ms. Perreault holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts degree, in political science, from the University of Manitoba.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times