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Minister seeks transparency

Two-year review for lobbying legislaton

Joe FitzpatrickThe Scottish Government has announced a two-year review of proposed legislation around lobbying.

Parliamentary Business Minister Joe FitzPatrick said the review will give added transparency to the process.

“There are already strict rules around lobbying in the Scottish Parliament but it is important we do all we can to increase transparency,” he said.

“We are committing to creating a two-year review of any new legislation and to extending the proposals to register lobbying of ministers to include lobbying of special advisers.

“We are also proposing the revision of our Bill by exempting all communication by a trade union or employer that forms part of, or relates directly to, terms and conditions of employment. We also propose extension of the definition of ‘lobbying’ to include video conferencing, as well as face-to-face communication.

“In Scotland we are rightly proud of our Parliament and our tradition of open government. These Stage 2 amendments extend that principle further and ensure that lobbying is as open and transparent as possible.”

The Bill builds on the work of the Standards, Procedures, Public Appointments Committee and is intended to establish a register of lobbying activity of paid ‘consultant’ and in-house lobbyists.

This will place an obligation on organisations to register following their lobbying of MSPs or Ministers.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/93511.aspx.

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