Lobbying register to cost £616k by end of year one

The lobbying register is expected to cost £616,000 in implementation and first-year running costs, with the industry set to contribute less than one quarter of that amount in fees.

A report from the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists says the Cabinet Office expects to recoup £150,000 from registrant fees in 2015-16. It had already been announced that annual fees for the scheme will be around £750 for companies and consultants.

The total cost of £616,000 is divided between set-up costs of £370,000 and running costs of £246,000 in the first year.

Among the biggest expenses are £137,000 for setting up the website and the registration service. Staff costs across 2014-15 and 2015-16 are to total £134,000, with the registrar specifically costing £66,000.

Registrar Alison White said: "It is part of the role of the registrar to ensure that costs are kept to the minimum required for the effective implementation of the legislation."

Implementation of the scheme has been criticised in recent weeks as the 27 March start date approaches.

Earlier this month APPC chairman Iain Anderson highlighted the lack of clarity on guidelines for its members from the lobbying registrar and said they are only emerging at "five-to-midnight".

Last week Lisa Nandy, Labour's shadow minister for civil society, slated the register as rushed, lacking the support of the industry and a waste of money.

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