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uk consultation on registration of lobbyists January 20, 2012

Posted by Bradley in : consultation, transparency , trackback

The Consultation Document is here. The document proposes that a body independent of Government and the lobbying industry should manage the register (a new arm’s length body?). The appropriate definition of lobbying is a central issue. Here are some of the questions posed by the document:

Should in-house lobbyists be covered? Many large companies have employees whose main duties are to lobby on behalf of that company. The Government proposes that only those lobbying on behalf of third parties should be covered by the Register. Given that is clear whose interests they represent, it is not evident that an extension of the register to in-house lobbyists would provide any additional transparency.
Should lobbyists or firms acting on a pro bono basis have an exemption from the duty to register?
Should organisations which engage in lobbying on behalf of interest groups such as Think Tanks and Charities be required to register? If so, how might this be captured in the definition of lobbying or lobbyist?
The Government does not wish to discourage the normal activity between constituents and MPs. Should there be an explicit exemption included in any definition?

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