CIPR responds to announcement of Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has today responded to the Government’s first-reading of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill which is being proposed to address a perceived lack of transparency in lobbying.
Commenting, CIPR CEO Jane Wilson said:
The CIPR sees the register of lobbyists as an opportunity to establish transparency and to reflect the positive role of lobbying by highlighting it as a normal and accepted part of our democratic process. A statutory register with a broad definition of the act of lobbying could provide the public genuine transparency and greater understanding into the process of influencing public policy.
This Bill – which offers an incredibly narrow focus on who is a consultant lobbyist – could even exclude many third-party consultants who are more likely to offer advice to clients than engage directly with Ministers, MPs and special advisers. The overwhelming majority of lobbyists, including representatives from the top ranked organisations as listed at Data.gov.uk on ‘Who Ministers Are Meeting’ are already left out. Because it ignores the scale and scope of professional lobbying, the proposed register will fail to meet the government’s own aim of increasing transparency.
The Bill, which is ill-conceived, would not even come close to preventing the alleged breaches of parliamentary standards that have seen this legislation rushed through. The Government should explain exactly what they believe this Bill will achieve.
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).