The Government's Lobbying Bill
HC 601-I, Seventh Report of Session 2013-14 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'The Government's Lobbying Bill (HC 601-I)' examines the Lobbying Bill, which aims to increase transparency in lobbying and regulate third party campaigning activities. While the Committee supports the aims of the Lobbying Bill, it finds that the bill is flawed due inadequate consultation and a lack of pre-legislative scrutiny.
The definition of 'consultant lobbying' is so narrow that it would exclude not just in-house lobbyists as intended, but also the vast majority of third-party lobbyists including the larger organisations. Many companies undertake lobbying as part of a wider communications and public relations business, spending very little of their time meeting directly with Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, which means they could argue they were exempt from registering.
The register should be expanded to include in-house lobbyists, and to cover the provision of advice on lobbying, as well as direct contact with Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. Special Advisers and Senior Civil Servants should be included in the list of people with whom contact counts as lobbying.
Part two of the Bill, on non-party campaigning is confusing. The Committee urges the government temporarily to withdraw the Bill and support a motion in the House to set up a special committee to carry out pre legislative scrutiny, using the text of the existing Bill as a draft. The special committee should be charged with producing an improved Bill within six months.
|Format||Paperback||Published||19 Sep 2013|
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