Report looks at lobbying reform
16 December 2009
The Public Administration Select Committee today publishes its follow-up report on lobbying.
The report concludes that there have been some welcome, but tentative, moves in the direction of lobbying transparency and self-regulation as a result of its earlier report, Lobbying: Access and Influence in Whitehall.
However, the Committee concludes that overall progress has been slow. It is particularly concerned that not enough has yet been done to bring about effective self-regulation of the lobbying industry, keeping open the possibility that lobbying will have to be regulated by legislation instead.
In particular, the Committee:
- welcomes the routine publication of details of ministerial meetings with outside interest groups
- is disappointed that there has not been more progress on industry self-regulation
- calls for more clarity from the Government on how it will review the industry’s progress on self-regulation
- reiterates its call for a statutory register of lobbying activity
The Chairman of the Committee, Dr Tony Wright MP, said:
"We are encouraged that our original report on lobbying has led to some movement in the direction of lobbying transparency. However, there is much more that should be done if public concern about this issue is to be addressed.
"I think we will ultimately end up with a statutory register of lobbying activity and I urge the Government to look again at this. We also need clarity from the Government about how it will assess the lobbying industry’s moves towards self-regulation.
"If the industry wants to avoid external regulation it will need to put in place robust measures for effective self-regulation ahead of the General Election."
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