Irish trade body hails success of lobbying act

The trade association for Irish lobbying has hailed the success of the country's new lobbying register after more than 500 organisations registered their activities in the final quarter of 2015.

Leinster House, home of the Dáil or Irish Parliament, Dublin (Credit: scenicireland.com/Christopher Hill Photographic/Alamy Stock Photo)
Leinster House, home of the Dáil or Irish Parliament, Dublin (Credit: scenicireland.com/Christopher Hill Photographic/Alamy Stock Photo)
The country’s Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 requires that all lobbying activity is reported to the regulator. The regulator received 568 returns for the period between September and December 2015 by this week’s deadline.
John Carroll, chief executive of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland, said a crucial feature of the Irish legislation was its wide reach.

He said: "An important point in the legislation is that it does not just apply to public relations and comms professionals, but also to lawyers, accountants, CEOs, etc; anyone who engages in lobbying government as part of their work.

"Unfortunately, while comms professionals are on top of the legislation, we have yet to see the same level of compliance from other professions. We are calling on the Standards Commission to ensure that there is even compliance across the board, and that red herrings like ‘client privilege’ are not used to evade people’s duty to report."
Carroll added that the PRII had run compliance workshops for its members and that its most recent annual survey showed that 87 per cent of its membership understood their obligations under the legislation, which came into force last year.

Meanwhile, professional lobbyists in England have criticised the Westminster register, which came into force in March 2015, because it does not require all organisations that carry out lobbying activity to report their activities.

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