New lobbying guidance welcome but still fails to address fundamental problems
CIPR welcomes new guidance from the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists and is pleased that our responses to both consultations – in relation to registerable communications and codes of conduct, respectively - have been accepted and will be reflected in the next revision of the guidance. However, there remains concerns that the overall legislation still does not go far enough in providing the public with access to meaningful and accurate information about lobbying beyond consultant lobbying.
These changes are welcome and the Registrar has done a great job within his remit, but ultimately, until all lobbyists – agency and in house – are required to register it will continue to offer the public an incomplete picture of the lobbying process. We remain concerned that, these changes alone, do not do enough to offer the public reassurance about the increasingly professional standard of the lobbying sector.
This is a step in the right direction but ulimately the original legislation should be reviewed, something that should happen in the next Parliament.
The changes to the guidance include an expansion of required registerable activities relating to written and oral communications as well as a clearer definition of what constitutes a relevant code of conduct, increased scrutiny of self-written codes, the requirement to formally confirm a registrant is in compliance of a code of conduct and changes to an organisations duties when claiming a code of conduct to demonstrate members of that organisation are subscribed to it.
The Registrar’s full response to the consultation can be found here.
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
The 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).