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30 October 2015

"Is a register of lobbying activity in Scotland necessary?" asks Holyrood’s Standards Committee

Members of the public and interested organisations are being asked whether they think a Bill to create a register of lobbying activity in Scotland is necessary and desirable.

The call for views from the Scottish Parliament’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments (SPPA) Committee follows today’s publication of the Lobbying (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill, introduced by the Scottish Government, seeks to increase public transparency of the interactions between lobbyists and elected representatives and Government Ministers. Its overarching objective is “to introduce a measured and proportionate register of lobbying activity”.

The SPPA Committee wants to hear people’s views on whether the Bill is necessary and whether the establishment of a register is desirable.

SPPA Committee Convener, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The Scottish Government has already had the benefit of recommendations from our Committee’s inquiry into Lobbying published earlier this year.

“Now that we have the Government’s Bill before us for scrutiny, we are asking members of the public and interested organisations to have their say on whether they think the Bill is actually necessary and a register of lobbying is desirable.”

Mr Stevenson added:

“According to the Bill, registration is only triggered when lobbying is being done in exchange for payment and does not capture lobbying carried out in the course of voluntary work - we want to hear if people agree with this approach.

“The Bill also seeks to strike a balance between capturing information of value and ensuring that access to and participation with the work of Parliament and Government is not discouraged - we want to hear if that balance is likely to be achieved in practice.”

The call for views can be found at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/93126.aspx
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