London,
17
May
2012
|
13:43
Europe/London

Minister suggests lobbyist register may support self-regulation

Mark Harper MP, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, has suggested that a statutory register of lobbyists may support self-regulation of the public affairs profession, a position supported by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Answering questions during a hearing of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, Mark Harper MP suggested that a statutory register may indicate who is covered by a professional code of conduct, which was a key suggestion in the CIPR’s response to the Government’s consultation.

Jane Wilson, CEO of the CIPR, said: 

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This is a welcome indication of how the register could support the existing structures of professional self-regulation. Codes of conduct, such as those provided by the CIPR, PRCA and APPC provide a link between professional standards, ethics and industry structures of learning and development. Steps towards Government regulation of the industry would undermine that link and, in my view, ultimately provide a less effective regulatory regime for lobbying and public affairs.
 
The first question in the session, asked of the Minister by Christopher Chope, MP for Christchurch, highlighted the work done by the CIPR to develop a proposed definition of lobbying as activity that would work in a statutory context.

Commenting on the definition of lobbying, Jane Wilson said:
 
  I am very pleased the CIPR's proposal for a definition of lobbying was raised. It is clearly an important part of the legislation that needs to be the focus of a discussion with the industry once the Government has decided whether or not the register will include all lobbyists. I would encourage the Minister to revisit my letter to him though. Our definition is not five pages long as he incorrectly informed the Committee. The definition itself is barely five lines but was included in a document that contains a commentary we felt would be useful in the wider debate.
Jane Wilson, CIPR CEO LinkedIn icon LinkedIn icon
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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).

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