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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 13th January 2014.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lords Spokesperson (Attorney General's Office), The Advocate-General for Scotland, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Lords Spokesperson (Scotland Office), Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 4:45 pm, 13th January 2014

I think I understand the point that the noble and learned Lord is making about the requirement to register if you are making communications with these people. It may be that that would bring more names on to the register—I simply do not know—but to enhance transparency, the complement to such an extension would be the introduction of meeting reporting obligations on these public officials. Otherwise you have a list of names of consultant lobbyists and their clients but there is nothing there to which you can then relate them. It becomes fully meaningful only if you have that complementary extension of the scheme. On the amendment, I sought to make the point that that would be a huge burden and one that would not be consistent with efficiency in government; nor indeed would it be proportionate to improving transparency.