PRCA launches Public Affairs Code Consultation

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The PRCA has launched a consultation on its Public Affairs Code to ensure it remains the benchmark for ethical and transparent lobbying.
Members are invited to read the consultation document and share their views on how the code is applied. Recent questions about the employment of Peers and other legislators, as well as former parliamentarians, have raised issues about the current restrictions on these groups and about the definition of ‘public affairs’. Members are encouraged to share their views on these and other issues. 

A recent Code of Conduct consultation conducted by the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists concluded that several non-PRCA Codes declared on the Register of Consultant Lobbyists might not be considered ‘relevant’. The response also suggested professionals would soon be prevented from declaring their own, self-policed Codes. 
In light of these recent developments and the fact that the PRCA Public Affairs Board and the unified Code have been in existence for over a year, it was decided this would be an opportune moment to seeks views on how the new code is functioning and whether any changes that should be made. 

Emma Petela MPRCA and George McGregor MPRCA, Public Affairs Board Co-Chairs, said:
“Ensuring ethical public affairs is a key objective of the PRCA Public Affairs Board and its members.
“But we would encourage members to join the conversation about what ethical public affairs actually means in practice.
“Is the current definition of ‘public affairs’ in our code too narrow? At present it simply focusses on the activity of influencing government. Should it be widened to include the range of other activities undertaken by public affairs professionals?
“Is it acceptable that parliamentarians – whether in the Lords or the Commons – can simultaneously be members of legislative bodies while being employed by companies that undertake public affairs?
“How do we ensure there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest relating to the payment or employment of parliamentarians by companies that undertake public affairs?
“As Co-Chairs we’d be keen to hear from members and would be happy to speak to any members about this consultation.”

This consultation is open to all members, but we will accept only one consultation response from each member. 

Please send the completed consultation response to by noon on Friday, 24th January 2020. 

You can download a copy of the consultation here.

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 66 countries around the world. Representing in excess of 30,000 people, the PRCA is the largest PR membership association in the world. 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.