Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill — Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 13th January 2014.

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Photo of Lord Tyler Lord Tyler Liberal Democrat 3:30 pm, 13th January 2014

The Minister will recall that at every previous stage of the Bill I have pressed that the Government should recognise that the key issue is not who the lobbyist is but who he or she meets, for what purpose and when. I very much welcome what my noble and learned friend has just said about the quality of the record of meetings that this Government have introduced. Perhaps he can go just a step further. He will be aware, from the discussions that have taken place across the House—and there has been support for this at every stage—that the present records of meetings are very often way out of date and not very detailed, and there is a grave discrepancy between the records that come from some government departments and those that come from others. In addition, it is very difficult to access them in a normal way through the computer. I instanced that we tried to find 23 different websites that would give us that information. Is my noble and learned friend now saying that there will now be active involvement by the Government to make sure that the situation is improved right across government?