CIPR responds to the latest consultation on the Statutory Register of Consultant Lobbyists

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has responded to the consultation issued by the Registrar of Lobbyists on the scope of the guidance for the Register of Consultant Lobbyists.

The CIPR calls on the Registrar to get the Statutory Register up and running and has offered to assist in a review of the effectiveness of the Statutory Register, 6-12 months after it has been established. The CIPR also offers support for measures including “pre-registration” and “nil-returns” where these could genuinely help to reduce the compliance burden on small business and sole traders.

The response also calls for the Registrar to go further in clarifying the nature of the communication with Ministers and Permanent Secretaries that will trigger the need to register, extending their explanation to cover situations such as Party Conferences. The CIPR also stresses the need for further dialogue on the cost and fee structure associated with registration.

Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive
The CIPR’s response is based on three commitments. We are committed to the principle of transparency and believe that ethical lobbying takes place in plain view, which includes the disclosure of client relationships. We also believe that lobbying is a necessary and important part of the democratic process in this country and that the public have a right to know more about it.

We are committed to fairness and believe the existing law unfairly burdens small consultancies while not requiring larger firms to register, if lobbying is only a small part of their activity.

Finally we are committed to constructive dialogue with the Registrar on points where we feel that the new register does not promote transparency, or will otherwise produce a skewed perspective on lobbying for the public.  This includes a willingness to discuss disclosure of information not required under the existing law.
Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive
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).