Chartered Institute of Public Relations provides oral evidence on lobbying bill
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has today provided evidence to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee as part of their ongoing Inquiry into the Government’s Transparency of Lobbying Bill.
This follows the CIPR’s recent submission of written evidence to the Committee which criticised the Bill as “extremely poor and at risk of weakening current standards of accountability and transparency within the public affairs profession.”
We are grateful to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee for allowing the CIPR to present evidence on what we feel is a poor Bill which has been hastily introduced after an inadequate consultation and a lack of proper pre-legislative scrutiny.
Lobbying is an essential and inevitable part of the democratic process. A vehicle for the articulation of societal interests is absolutely necessary to create an effective and representative political system.
The part of the Bill that introduces a register of consultant lobbyists is unclear and is creating uncertainty about who will be required to register. The Bills outcome is unlikely to meet the Government’s original stated aim of increasing transparency in lobbying. It is also unlikely to increase confidence in the political process or to meet the public’s expectation for the Bill.
The Government have redrawn the problem to be solved by this Bill to be so narrow that it will cover a tiny fraction of activity within the public affairs profession. The number of people who will be required to register may be so small that the register may be rendered financially unsustainable and ultimately could add little to public knowledge about lobbying or influence
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).