The Scottish Parliament may be acting illegally in its attempts to
The Parliament's standards committee wants to put in place a statutory
code of conduct on lobbying firms. This code could force lobbyists to
disclose details of clients, budgets and fees and may not apply to
in-house public affairs teams.
But after seeking legal advice, the PRCA's public affairs group believes
the proposals could contravene three articles of the 1998 Human Rights
Act, relating to privacy, discrimination and freedom of expression.
Public affairs associations including the PRCA and the Association of
Professional Political Consultants(APPC) have this week submitted
written evidence to the committee and further oral evidence may be asked
for later this year. Both the PRCA and the APPC are urging the committee
to keep their own self-regulatory systems.
Simon Nayyar, PRCA public affairs group chairman, believes the code
could allow 'big business' with in-house public affairs units to go
unchecked while placing unfair constraints on smaller organisations who
use lobbying firms.
He said: 'This could lead to the opposite of what the committee hopes to