It matters where you shine the light
If the Prime Minister is serious about creating “the most open and transparent government in the world”, then the Lobbying Bill should cover the whole of the UK’s £2bn lobbying industry, not just the 1 per cent included in the draft legislation.
Companies should be made to lobby transparently. The Bill should cover the activities of in-house, as well as third party lobbyists. It should cover companies that offer lobbying services, but are not defined as lobbyists. All meetings with senior public officials and government members should be declared, not just those with ministers or permanent secretaries.Both in-house and external lobbyists should declare who they work for, who they meet and what they lobby about.
Unless the government is prepared to “shine the light of transparency” on the whole of the lobbying industry, it will be a wasted opportunity preserving the status quo and paving the way for more scandal and reputational damage.
Posted September 10 2013