Queen’s Speech - lack of lobbying registration bill ‘incredibly disappointing’
With confirmation today that the Government's 2013-14 legislative agenda does not include plans for a statutory lobbying register the CIPR, PRCA and APPC issued this joint statement:
In the Coalition Agreement and in its Mid-Term Review, the Government made a pledge to introduce a lobbying register. So it is incredibly disappointing that the Queen’s Speech does not include draft legislation to introduce the statutory register of lobbyists that we had been anticipating. It’s crucial that we now get clarity from the Government about their intentions. If they intend to drop legislation this Parliament then they have a duty to the general public to let their new intentions be known. If they do still plan to introduce legislation, then they must publish the detail of their plans. It’s crucial, for example, that any new statutory lobbying register is universal, including all those who seek to influence public policy and law, and covers lobbying all levels of Government, not just Whitehall. Without a clear statement of intent from the Government it is difficult not to conclude that the Government is looking to quietly drop their plans for lobbying reform.
The Coalition Government has to make clear their intentions concerning a statutory lobbying register. We’re now in limbo as to exactly what the future holds with no clear direction of travel.
The industry desires – not fears – transparency, which makes the Government’s inaction all the more frustrating. It is disappointing that the Government is wasting time and resources, but also missing an opportunity to increase trust in the institutions that we lobby.
Even though there are no firm proposals in the Queen’s Speech, the Government has an opportunity to engage with the industry to discuss what plans they may still have for a statutory register and how bodies like the CIPR, APPC and PRCA are actively promoting higher standards of professional conduct in lobbying. We want to know what they propose to do, having first promised a register in 2010, but above all we want to help the Government shape their plans and to promote the positive role of lobbying in our democracy.
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).