Donegal county councillors today will discuss the report on the incorrect expense claims filed by their council colleague, Fine Gael whip, Cllr. Terence Slowey.
On the agenda for today’s meeting is consideration of the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) report of Cllr. Slowey’s behaviour.
Before a public hearing of the Sipo commission in Dublin last month, Cllr. Slowey admitted to four contraventions of the Local Government Act in relation to expense claims he made for attending two conferences in Kerry and Cork during the same weekend in October 2008.
The Sipo report on the matter, published earlier this month, described the councillors actions as “reckless” and said they constituted a “serious matter”. The Sipo report is on the council agenda for consideration today.
The councillor told the commission he had not intentionally contravened the act, and has since paid back the cost of more than 2,400 euro for attending the conferences. Cllr. Slowey told the commission the incorrect claims were the result of human error.
A Fine Gael disciplinary committee met in Dublin last week to discuss the matter. Party sanctions could include possible expulsion, suspension or removal as party whip.
It is understood that Sipo has furnished the ministers of Finance and of Environment, Heritage and Local Government with their report. But a statement from the Department of the Environment said the minister noted the report but had no direct function in relation to individual cases of this kind,
“It is a matter for the elected council of Donegal County Council to consider the report and to decide on the action, if any, to be taken,” the statement said.