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Parlon CIF appointment raises serious ethical questions

10 July, 2007

Reacting to the announcement that former PD junior Minister Tom Parlon who lost his seat at the last election is taking up a position as Director General of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD said that the move demonstrated the necessity for post service restrictions on former government minister and senior civil servants to prevent them unethically utilising knowledge from their public employment to the benefit of the private sector.

Morgan said, "The influence of the construction industry over the Government has long been a cause of major concern. This is recognised as one of the key factors behind the Government's failure to tackle the escalation of house prices over the last decade despite the impact price increases were having on ordinary people trying to secure homes. Appointments such as Parlon's will make the public even more cynical about the nature of relationship between the Government parties and the construction industry.

"Sinn Féin is seriously concerned that Tom Parlon who served as a Minister of state in the Department of Finance in the last Government is now to take up the position of Dictator General of the Construction Industry Federation. We fear that this may result in sensitive knowledge garnered from his time in Government now being passed on to the CIF. For example the Government refuses to give the public specific information regarding Transport 21 because of the sensitivity of this information in terms of the procurement process - this is the kind of information that the CIF will be delighted to now have access to through the appointment of Parlon.

"Sinn Féin is calling for the introduction of post-service restrictions on key personnel within the public sector, including government ministers and senior civil servants, to prevent them unethically utilising knowledge from their public service/employment to the benefit of the private sector. Such restrictions are the norm for many within senior management positions in the private sector to prevent confidential knowledge being passed on to competitors. The public sector and the public interest must be protected in the same way" ENDS

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