IPR task force will look at lobbyists’ conduct

The Institute of Public Relations, which represents individual PR practitioners, is to set up a task force to draw up a code of conduct for lobbyists.

The Institute of Public Relations, which represents individual PR

practitioners, is to set up a task force to draw up a code of conduct for

lobbyists.



The move is a response to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Sir

Gordon Downey’s report, published last week, into the cash for questions

affair.



’As a result of the lessons learned from the report and the events it

covers we hope that Parliament will work with the Institute and other

sections of the government relations world to produce a set of simple but

effective rules to regulate the activities of members of both houses and

the industry itself,’ said IPR president Simon Lewis.



The IPR task force would include industry interests and specialists and

members of both houses. It would make recommendations on a code of

conduct, to be regulated by Parliament. The recommendations would be sent

to the leaders of both Houses and the Office of Public Service, which

deals with the machinery of government and standards. It would also

consider options such as a register of clients, and building on existing

association structures.



The IPR hopes to assemble members for the task force by September and

present its recommendations by Christmas. Members of the Institute already

sign up to a code on joining it, and Lewis believes the IPR rules could be

used as a model for any industry-wide code.



The European parliament already has a code governing lobbyists. It

provides for transparency in dealings between members and those

representing their own or third party interests, and sets out clear

provision in respect of the financial interests of MEPs.



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