Engaging service providers generally
You are reminded of the provisions from the public service Code of Standards and Behaviour which include a requirement that you should not use your official position to benefit yourself or others with whom you have personal or business ties. You should not brief Counsel who is a family member (spouse, parent, child, sibling etc). When making referrals to private practitioners the applicant must always be allowed choose the private practitioner themselves except in two circumstances:
- in enforcement of foreign maintenance cases where the person who is owed maintenance lives outside Ireland, and
- in the exceptional circumstances outlined in the Administrative Procedures Handbook.
You cannot, as a staff member of the Board, ever “recommend” a particular private solicitor.
It is recognised that you may be friendly with certain barristers. This does not in itself stop you retaining them as Counsel. However, you should ensure that work is spread among as many barristers as possible, having regard to the number of appropriately specialised barristers practicing in the relevant Circuit.