13 April, 2021
The proposals aim to restore confidence in the political decision-making process and follow yesterday’s decision by the Government to open an inquiry into David Cameron’s lobbying activity for Greensill Capital.
The PRCA Public Confidence Plan for Reform entails:
1. The Lobbying Act should be expanded to cover all of those engaged in lobbying – the inclusion of in-house lobbyists is crucial for public confidence. The scope of the Act should be expanded to cover those working in-house in charities, campaigning groups, think tanks, trade unions, business, organisations and private companies.
2. The interactions covered by the Act should be expanded to include Special Advisers and senior civil servants, from Director General level up.
3. The Government should extend the existing limitations on former Ministers taking paid lobbying positions and institute a five-year ban, including on in-house roles. Former Ministers should consistently behave in the spirit of the Nolan Principles.
4. Ministers should stop ignoring the rules under which they are legally obliged to publish Ministerial Diaries in a timely manner.
5. The process governing the award of Parliamentary Passes should be reviewed and tightened significantly - the PRCA will conduct its own study given the lack of Government and Parliamentary progress on this issue.
6. The Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists should no longer allow registrants to declare self-written and self-policed codes which are neither independent nor independently enforceable.
PRCA Public Affairs Board Chair Liam Herbert commented:
“The Lobbying Act is unfit for purpose. This inquiry is an opportunity for the government to reset its approach to lobbying regulation. Our industry has made concerted efforts uphold to public confidence but it’s now time for politicians to do the same. We stand ready to assist the government with these changes.”
About the PRCA
The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.
We represent more than 35,000 PR professionals in 70 countries worldwide. With offices in London, Singapore, Dubai, and Buenos Aires, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations.
Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion - and enforce - professional standards in the UK and overseas through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.
Our Public Affairs Board represents professional practice in lobbying by campaigning for transparency through a joint register and enforcing high standards through the Public Affairs Code. The PRCA Public Affairs Register can be viewed here.