Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Cabinet Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town on 2016-03-01.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to meet the objectives outlined in the Impact Assessment of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 in relation to in-house lobbyists, specifically increasing the transparency of lobbying by opening it up to public scrutiny and increasing public accountability and public trust in the system of Government.

Lord Bridges of Headley

The Transparency of Lobbying Act created a statutory register of lobbyists. The Register has increased transparency by requiring that, for the first time, people who are paid to lobby the Government on behalf of others must disclose their clients on a publicly available register. The statutory Register has also enabled the activities of consultant lobbyists to be more effectively scrutinised by requiring lobbyists to declare whether they subscribe to a code of conduct.

In addition, the Register of consultant lobbyists complements the Government’s existing transparency commitment to regularly publish details of the meetings of Ministers and Permanent Secretaries with external organisations and individuals and tackles the problem that it was not always clear whose interests were being represented by “third-party" or consultant lobbyists.

The Register does not include in-house lobbyists because it is, by definition, clear who they are working for when their details are published in the list of meetings of Ministers and Permanent Secretaries.