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16 January 2014

SPPA Committee begins Lobbying Inquiry

MSPs are to discuss whether there is a problem with lobbying and access to politicians, “either actual or perceived”, in its first evidence session in its lobbying inquiry today [Thursday].

Steps to improve transparency and whether the introduction of a statutory register of lobbyists would help will be discussed by Holyrood’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments (SPPA) Committee.

Witnesses include representatives from campaign groups and the public affairs industry.

Over the course of the coming weeks, the Committee will also take evidence from charities and trade unions, as well as representatives from business, academia and local authorities.

Stewart Stevenson MSP, Convener of SPPA, said:

“Our main focus will be whether there are real or perceived problems with lobbying in Scotland, and what steps should be taken to address any issues that are identified.

“We look forward to considering the evidence we will hear from advocates of reform, academics and others, before we report to the Parliament with recommendations”.

The SPPA inquiry follows the Scottish Government’s stated intention to introduce legislation in this area within this parliamentary term (2011-2016).
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