Howlin says he will not meet any lobbyists for lottery licence


MINISTER FOR Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said he will not be personally meeting anybody lobbying for the national lottery licence.

He said he had “received calls from all over the place from people who want to see me or my advisers in respect of these matters”.

He added that there would be one access point at arm’s length for people who would advise others on how to go about the process. “This will apply in the case of every sale of State assets, in that I will not be directly lobbied and I will not meet anybody regarding these matters.

“If people have something to say, they will talk in an open fashion to the people charged with handling their communications.”

The Minister was replying to Fianna Fáil public expenditure spokesman Seán Fleming, who asked him to ensure that the issues highlighted in respect of the sale of the second mobile telephone licence would not recur.

Mr Fleming said that when Fine Gael and Labour were last in government one of their last actions was to issue that licence.

“We all know that substantial issues were raised about the then government’s handling of that process.”

Mr Howlin said Mr Fleming had made a valid point of which he was cognisant.

He said a protocol issued to himself and to every senior official on the matter would be placed on a website.

Welcoming the protocol, Mr Fleming urged the Minister to introduce legislation dealing with lobbyists.