Open Up Lobbying: how you can help
Note: the government's consultation has now closed. However, they will be publishing a new set of proposals in a few months time. Sign up to our campaign and we will keep you posted about other campaign opportunities.
We're encouraging members of the public to do the following:
- Write to the government consultation to give them your views (see below).
- Contact your MP - in writing or in person - to ask them what their position on a lobbying register is.
- Help spread the word to your friends and family.
The government is now asking for your views on the extent to which the lobbying industry should be opened up to scrutiny. Last month it published a consultation on its proposals for a public register of lobbyists. Registers generally require lobbyists to regularly reveal who is lobbying whom and for what, and the money spent on lobbying.
But the government’s proposals for a register of lobbyists are a sham. They want the new rules to cover only a fraction - less than a quarter - of the industry; and don’t want the register to reveal any meaningful information – only the names of those lobbying.
If enough of us demand a stricter register, we can persuade them to change their mind. But it requires people to take action now.
We have three main concerns with the government’s current plans:
- The definition of who a lobbyist is too narrow and excludes most of the industry (Tesco could be exempt; small shops lobbying via a trade body would not).
- The plans will only require lobbyists to register who they are, but not what they are lobbying for, who they are lobbying or how much money they are spending on lobbying.
- The register must be publicly funded so that alleged improprieties can be properly investigated.
Tell the government that their current plans will not expose professional lobbying to much-needed public scrutiny.
They want to know you views on:
- Who should be included in the register? and how should lobbyists be defined?
- What information should be included? and should it include financial information?
- How often should the register be updated?
- Who should run the register?
- How should it be funded?
- What sanctions should apply?
Please email your response to: email@example.com
Or send them to:
Statutory Register of Lobbyists
Area 4/S1, 1 Horse Guards Road
London, SW1A 2HQ
Deadline for submissions is 13 April 2012