Just 23% of lobbyists believe they will be captured by statutory lobbying Register
A poll of lobbyists has today found that only up to 23% believe that they will be included in the proposed statutory Register of lobbyists.
A poll of agency and in-house lobbyists in the PRCA’s Public Affairs Group has revealed industry reaction to the Government’s Transparency of Lobbying Bill. The Bill proposes a Register that includes only consultancies whose main business is lobbying and only those that lobby Ministers and Permanent Secretaries.
Due to these requirements, 77% do not believe they will ever be picked up by the Register. The poll also revealed that only 29% believe that their organisation is focused on ‘mainly lobbying’, as opposed to ‘mainly non-lobbying’.
The PRCA has been campaigning for the Government to introduce a statutory Register that covers all who conduct lobbying in a professional capacity. However, the proposed Register fails the PRCA’s two crucial tests of universality and cost – see here for more details.
This is hilariously bad from the Cabinet Office. A Register catching only agency lobbyists will encourage regulatory arbitrage. Driving lobbying in-house will deny clients the expertise and ethical guidance of agencies and encourage wing and prayer in-house lobbying. Moreover, this Bill would have done nothing to prevent the recent string of 'lobbying scandals' (which are in fact nothing of the sort) to which it is a reflexive response. On the hoof policy making of the very worst kind. Risible.
Excluding in-house personnel made a mockery of it to start with. The latest incarnation is baffling.