Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has told the Dáil he is committed to a programme of political reform.

Speaking during statements on the Government's response to the recommendations of the Mahon Tribunal, Mr Howlin said the emphasis contained in the Programme for Government was on openness and transparency.

He said the lobbying process needed to be more transparent and he hoped to have legislation enacted next year on the matter.

Mr Howlin said the findings of the Mahon Tribunal showed that work was needed on embedding ethics in the public service.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said the Mahon findings gave an opportunity to have a fully transparent planning system.

Fianna Fáil's Environment Spokesman Niall Collins said the tribunal findings had disgusted people but they related to a small body of individuals.

He said a number of anomalies would have to be squared to bring about a register of lobbyists.

Sinn Féin's Jonathan O'Brien said legislation was required to ensure that the type of behaviour described in the Mahon report never repeats itself.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett said it was strange that the Government had made a last-minute decision to hold the session on the report’s recommendations.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told the Dáil that corrupt behaviour in the past had done damage to the economy and to Ireland's reputation and to the trust of Irish people in politicians.

He said he had taken concrete steps to implement the Tribunal’s recommendations, including the publication of the Criminal Justice Corruption Bill last month.