A PRCA analysis of entries published by the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists (ORCL) found a rise of more than a quarter (28%) in lobbyists failing to declare Code of Conducts between 2019 and 2020.
Established to improve lobbying transparency in 2014, the launch of the Government’s Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists was widely welcomed by the industry, while its narrow remit and exclusion of in-house lobbyists continues to be criticised by the PRCA among other groups. The introduction of stricter regulations on self-policed codes last August are thought to be behind the spike in declarations of no code.
PRCA head of public affairs Neha Khatwani said: ‘Lobbying is a fundamental democratic right. When practiced ethically and within the scope of a professional, independently enforced Code of Conduct, it improves decision-making and supports the democratic process.
‘Professional conduct in the practice of public affairs has never mattered more, and we would strongly urge those unregulated lobbying organisations to embrace professional standards, and to sign up to a robust and independent regulatory process.’
Duncan Hames, Director of Policy, Transparency International UK director of policy Duncan Hames welcomed the census: ‘People in the UK should be able to see a clear and comprehensive picture of who is influencing their Government, including on what issue, as is already the case in most other Western democracies.
‘It is past time to bring lobbying out of the shadows and lobbyists committing to ethical standards is an important part of that process.’
More information on these findings from the PRCA can be found on the website.