The CIPR, PRCA and APPC have issued a joint statement in response to the confirmation in the Queen’s Speech that the Government’s 2013-14 legislative agenda does not include plans for statutory lobbying.
In their statement the CIPR, PRCA and APPC describe the decision to halt plans to introduce a lobbying registers as “incredibly disappointing”.
The statement continues: “It’s crucial that we now get clarity from the Government about their intentions. If they intend to drop legislation this Parliament then they have a duty to the general public to let their new intentions be known. If they do still plan to introduce legislation, then they must publish the detail of their plans.
“It’s crucial, for example, that any new statutory lobbying register is universal, including all those who seek to influence public policy and law, and covers lobbying all levels of Government, not just Whitehall. Without a clear statement of intent from the Government it is difficult not to conclude that the Government is looking to quietly drop their plans for lobbying reform.”
PRCA director general Francis Ingham added that the industry “desires – not fears transparency” and called the Government’s inaction “frustrating”. He continued: “It is disappointing that the Government is wasting time and resources, but also missing an opportunity to increase trust in the institutions that we lobby.”
Michael Burrell, APPC chairman, commented: “The Coalition Government has to make clear their intentions concerning a statutory lobbying register. We’re now in limbo as to exactly what the future holds with no clear direction of travel.”
Current CEO of the CIPR Jane Wilson echoed the sentiments made by both Burrell and Ingham, saying: “Even though there are no firm proposals in the Queen’s Speech, the Government has an opportunity to engage with the industry to discuss what plans they may still have for a statutory register and how bodies like the CIPR, APPC and PRCA are actively promoting higher standards of professional conduct in lobbying.
“We want to know what they propose to do, having first promised a register in 2010, but above all we want to help the Government shape their plans and to promote the positive role of lobbying in our democracy.”