There have been questions raised over Tom Parlon's decision to become Director General of the Construction Industry Federation.

The Progressive Democrats President has announced he is to leave politics to head up the CIF. During his time in Government, Mr Parlon was responsible for the Office of Public Works.

Yesterday, Labour Party deputy leader Liz McManus criticised the decision, saying it raised concerns of a conflict of interest.

Ms McManus said Mr Parlon would be very much aware of the OPW's overall plans for the future and its approach to the awarding of contracts.

On RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, John Devitt of Transparency International Ireland said such appointments can have the effect of undermining public confidence in the tendering process.

Mr Healy said that, in many situations, the perception that there is a conflict of interest can arise. Transparency International does not comment on individual cases.

However, Senator Tom Morrissey of the Progressive Democrats said details of the Government's decentralisation programme were well known throughout the country.

His party colleague, Senator Colm O'Gorman, defended Mr Parlon and said the issue should not be personalised.