The Neill report into standards in public life has been privately
criticised by senior lobbyists.
The report recommends that ministers and officials who meet lobbyists
should record the meetings’ details in official diaries. To ensure
’awareness of the need for propriety’, records should be retained ’for
later inspection if necessary’, and ministerial rules amended to make
this a legal requirement.
One source in the PRCA said: ’It is impossible to proscribe friendships
between former party colleagues, some of whom have gone into the private
sector, others into government. But we will work to make Neill a
success.’ Another senior lobbyist said informal contact between
lobbyists and those in government was impossible to log.
Publicly, the industry’s trade bodies were supportive. Simon Nayyar, the
PRCA’s public affairs committee head who gave evidence to Neill,
welcomed the main thrust of the report, including a rejection of calls
for statutory regulation. Michael Burrell, chairman of the APPC, also
welcomed the report.’