Lobbying (Transparency) Bill: industry welcomes vote to remove statutory code of conduct
Following the conclusion of the committee stage of Lord Brooke’s Lobbying (Transparency) Bill, Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said:
“We welcome very warmly the House of Lord’s vote to accept Lord Lansley’s amendment to remove the introduction of a statutory code of conduct from the Lobbying (Transparency) Bill.
“As Lord Lansley rightly argued, there is an existing structure of voluntary codes of conduct in the industry which are more appropriate and flexible than a statutory one. We have long argued that a statutory code of conduct risks undermining the transparent and ethical way in which the industry operates currently, and it is reassuring that peers have confirmed this view.
“Furthermore, Lord Lansley is right to say that the industry and members of professional bodies such as the PRCA take their codes of conduct and their commitment to transparency very seriously. Our members have always been at the forefront of promoting transparency and accountability, and our Code has evolved over time to enshrine and reflect best practice.
“However, we and other campaigners are troubled by the inclusion of financial disclosure in this Bill. The notion that lobbying spend equates to influence is deeply flawed and would result in an unnecessary burden on the industry. Practically, the end user does not stand to benefit one iota. This part of the Bill is simply wrong. And we are confident that it will not be implemented."
About the PRCA
Who we are: Founded in 1969, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is a UK-based PR and communications membership body, operating in 48 countries around the world. We represent in excess of 20,000 people across the whole range of the PR and communications industry. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.
What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.
How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.
Who we represent: The PRCA currently has more than 400 agency members; 270 in-house PR and communications teams from multinationals, charities and leading public sector organisations; and thousands of individual members.