Several youth political parties in UCD have encountered problems whilst registering with the Standards In Public Office commission (SIPO) The University Observer has learned.
SIPO requires that each branch of a political party send the previous year’s accounts and register activity with them annually, a practice which extends to the UCD branches of parties including Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party, Sinn Féin, and prior to their disbandment, the Progressive Democrats.
However, this year many of the parties have had to engage into lengthy correspondence with SIPO for a variety of reasons in order to fulfil this requirement.
Karen Doyle, former Chair of UCD Young Fine Gael (YFG), explained that she “wasn’t sure whether we [YFG] actually had to register with SIPO, because we are a society in UCD as opposed to a branch”. SIPO informed YFG that registration was required, but failed to include the relevant forms in their correspondance. Having requested and submitted these forms, Doyle is yet to receive further contact from SIPO.
The Kevin Barry Cumann, UCD’s youth branch of Fianna Fáil, have also encountered difficulties in registering with the commission. Conor King, former Chair of the KBC, explained that correspondence from SIPO to the KBC had twice been posted to the wrong address, an error SIPO later acknowledged.
The Young Progressive Democrats (YPD) also encountered problems, with former National Chairman, and UCD postgraduate student, Abey Campbell explaining that the poor returns at the 2007 general election, were the root cause of the problems the YPDs encountered when registering with SIPO, as the party could no longer afford a full-time secretary.
SIPO, Labour Youth and Ógra Sinn Féin were all unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.