Fines of up to €2,500 will be levied in on organisations and individuals who breach lobbying regulations.

From 1 January, the Standards in Public Office Commission will have the power to investigate and prosecute contraventions of the Lobbying Act.

Breaches include failure to register, failure to make returns and providing inaccurate or misleading information.

A fine of €200 will automatically be levied on those who file late returns.

Higher penalties and a prison sentence of up to two years could be levied on indictment.

Since the act came into force in September 2015, there have been 1,500 registrations and 7,500 returns.