Announcement of fees increase for Statutory Lobbying Register

Joint statement from APPC, CIPR and PRCA

In response to the announcement today (10 December 2015) that the Cabinet Office will be increasing the annual fee for registration on the Statutory Lobbying Register to £1,000, the APPC, CIPR and PRCA issued the following joint statement.

This cost increase, which is being introduced without effective consultation, is a direct consequence of poor planning by the Cabinet Office. The lobbying industry has consistently warned the Cabinet Office that their estimate of 700* third-party lobbyists joining the register was unrealistic. Currently 113 lobbyists are signed up – just 15% of the Government’s estimate.

As it stands, the Government does not know whether 113 is a baseline or maximum capacity for the register. If the annual running cost of the register was to be met by those currently registered the fees would be unreasonably high. This effectively means a self-funding register of lobbyists based on this model is unviable.

The exclusion of in-house lobbyists and others from the legislation has resulted in an ineffective register that only displays a tiny pool of information. The professional bodies already do a far better job at providing transparency about who is lobbying the Government. They do so free of charge to the public and compel their members to adhere to strict codes of conduct which govern their professional behaviour.

The lobbying industry supports the government’s stated ambition to increase the transparency of lobbying, but the current register will never be effectively self-funding. A financially unsustainable and ineffective register risks failing the public and parliament.

*See page 6 of the government’s Impact Assessment (PDF, opens in a new window).

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).