CIPR responds to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s investigation into financial services lobbying
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has today responded to the Guardian’s coverage of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s (BIJ) investigation into financial services lobbying.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism considers lobbying activity to be somehow illegitimate, despite it being a fundamental part of the democratic process which helps to produce better policy and legislation. Provided lobbying is conducted in a transparent and open manner, it is an ethical activity. Many individuals identified in this survey are members of the CIPR, voluntarily regulated by our code of conduct as well as by organisations such as the FSA. In the UK, financial and professional services sustain over two million jobs and returns billions to the exchequer in tax revenues. The £92m spent on assisting the Government to improve regulation in this sector should be seen in that context. However, The BIJ report further highlights the need for the Government to get their definition of lobbying right. Of the 134 organisations identified as lobbying the Government on financial services issues, only 38 would have been included in the statutory register of lobbyists as proposed by the Government’s consultation document. The BIJ list includes 19 think tanks, five management consultancies and six law firms, none of which would be covered by the Government’s proposal, as well as the in-house lobbyists working for banks and trade bodies. If the Government is going to introduce a register of lobbyists with the aim of increasing transparency around the process of lobbying, it needs to ensure that every person and organisation engaged in influencing public policy will be able to disclose their involvement.
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).