23 October 2009
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO LOBBYING REPORT PUBLISHED
The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) today publishes the
Government’s Response to its report
Lobbying: Access and influence in Whitehall.
The Government’s response:
Announces that departments will publish on-line information about ministerial meetings with interest groups and hospitability received in a ministerial capacity on a quarterly basis;
Extends the list of civil servants who will have to publish the details of hospitality and expenses they have received;
Agrees with the Committee that the lobbying industry should be given an opportunity to make self-regulation work effectively, that the industry should “look again” at its current arrangements and its progress should be kept under review; and
Announces that the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments will be put on a more professional basis and will be consulted on the revision of the Business Appointments guidelines.
However, the Government:
Has not accepted the Committee’s case for a statutory register of lobbying activity;
Did not accept that details of meetings between officials and outside groups should be published; and
Has not specified a time frame within which it will make an assessment of the industry’s progress towards effective self-regulation.
The Chair of the Committee, Dr Tony Wright MP, said:
“I am glad that the Government has accepted some of our proposals to increase the transparency of lobbying but disappointed that it has not accepted the case for a statutory register, which is where I think we shall eventually end up.”
Committee Membership: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)
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