Industry bodies APPC, CIPR and PRCA issue joint lobbying definition

The APPC, CIPR and PRCA have published their joint definition of lobbying, which seeks to expand the scope of any statutory register beyond agencies.

Parliament lobbying: The definition has been sent to Smith (Credit: Ian Bottle)
Parliament lobbying: The definition has been sent to Smith (Credit: Ian Bottle)

The joint definition recommends that all people who provide lobbying services must be on the register. It defines lobbying services as activities carried out in a business for the purpose of influencing government or advising others how to influence government.

Government is defined as including central, devolved and local government; members and staff of either House of Parliament or of a devolved legislature; ministers and off-icials; and public authorities.

It still covers services if they are provided on a pro bono, voluntary or not-for profit basis.

The three associations stated: ‘We believe defining the act of lobbying rather than the type of person or service provider who lobbies is a fairer way of achieving transparency in lobbying through the introduction of a register.’

The definition has been drawn up in legal language with a view to being used in the legislation needed to int-roduce a statutory register.

‘Common sense’ exceptions, the trio claimed, cover journalists who publish information in their profession; constituents talking to their MPs; the provision of information or evidence in res-ponse to an invitation from Government or Parliament, a court order or tender process; and anyone acting in their off-icial capacity on behalf of a government organisation.

The definition has been sent to the minister responsible for legislation, Chloe Smith.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: 'The Government is grateful to the industry for engaging constructively with the Government during the consultation on the Statutory Register for Lobbyists. We welcome their latest input, which will be taken into consideration when we bring forward our proposals. We will of course be working closely with the industry and others to ensure we have a statutory register that works.'

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