The body which polices standards in politics said there is a growing need for electoral reform due to the growing use of digital technologies.

The Standards In Public Office Commission said the use of social media by foreign players and political advertising from outside the State during political campaigns highlighted the need for reform.

In its annual report it said while the Oireachtas and the Government were looking at ways to regulated online political advertising it was just one of the gaps in the current legislative framework.

The organisation said that it had also come to light that a number of public bodies had been omitted from new ethics legislation or were not covered by the new law because they were newly formed.

These included the Policing Authority, the Land Development Commission and the Children's Hospital Group Board.

SIPO said the omission of the bodies meant that the provision for disclosure of interests in the Ethics Act cannot be implemented on a statutory basis in these organisations.