London,
24
April
2017

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee ACoBA report: PRCA welcomes two-way transparency

Responding to today's Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee report on the gaps in the regulatory system for scrutinising the employment of former ministers and civil servants, Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said:

“All too often, the public affairs and lobbying industry is seen by politicians as a convenient air raid shelter when they discuss transparency.

“Today’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee report goes some way to moving past this distracting and misleading smokescreen. We, like everyone else invested in democracy and transparency, fully support a transparent and open system: but such a system only functions if it works both ways.

“This is a matter concerning the Houses of Parliament, and therefore a matter for the Houses of Parliament to resolve; the Committee’s suggestions, which include managing conflicts, involve civil servants, and cover reforms that go above and beyond the code and declaration, would result in former ministers being subject to the proper level of scrutiny. It is not about ‘uncovering scandal’ or ‘exposing links’: it is about showing exactly what is taking place, and directly addressing critics who have for too long relied on an inadequate part of the system to argue the whole of democracy is undermined by business.

“As we have long argued, these problems are a matter for the Houses of Parliament to resolve, but they affect us all. We welcome this move in the right direction and hope real reform takes place.”

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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 49 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.

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Matt Cartmell
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