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ORCL End of Year News Update

Review of the year

At the start of this year, there were 125 registrants live on the Register; currently this number has risen to 136. A number of new organisations have joined the Register, often a function of changes required by clients in the context of exiting the EU. There have also been organisations leaving and joining the Register as a result of compliance work by the Registrar.

The Registrar continues to work with those organisations already registered and those which might need to become registered, to ensure that the requirements of the legislation are being properly observed, and to keep registration details correct and up to date. During the year, the Registrar has carried out a number of enquiries to satisfy herself on all these issues, and to ensure that her statutory responsibilities are being carried out properly and thoroughly. Where changes are required, these are always noted on the registration record.

If any organisation has concerns that any of its past information may not be correct, for whatever reason, then please contact the Office for help in making the necessary corrections. The Registrar wishes to remind registrants that the onus is on them to ensure their records are correct and up to date at all times.

Information Retention response and updated guidance

During the last quarter of this year, the Registrar conducted a consultation to refresh the guidance relating to information publication and retention. Eight responses were received which were carefully considered and where appropriate reflected in her response, to be found at:

http://registrarofconsultantlobbyists.org.uk/response-to-information-publication-retention-consultation/

The updated guidance includes the future approach that will be taken regarding the publication of changes to statutory information; the appropriate length and time that information should be published and the circumstances and length of time where matters of non-compliance should be published and retained. The refreshed guidance can be found at:

http://registrarofconsultantlobbyists.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/20171206-Guidance-on-Information-Publication-and-Retention-December-2017.pdf

Technical improvements to the Register

In her business plan for this year, the Registrar committed to some further modest technical improvements to the Register as a result of stakeholder feedback. These changes have now been implemented with the objective of enhancing the user experience and include:

  • allowing large numbers of clients to be declared in quarterly information returns (a particular issue for those that provide support services for APPGs);
  • making it easier to add new partners and directors (affiliates) on quarterly information returns; and
  • an easier to use and more responsive search function, when looking up who is registered.

Please do let the Office know if you have any other suggestions that would improve the online Register.

Reminder for fee renewals

The £1,000 renewal fee is due for payment at the latest by Friday 19 January 2018; please put this date in your diary. You will receive more detailed information by email shortly. In order to ensure the transaction is successfully processed by your bank, please have your three digit security code to hand. Your payment will not be able to be processed without it. If you have any queries regarding this (including any other difficulties with payment), then please contact the Office as soon as possible. The Registrar wishes to remind registrants that in the past, enforcement action has been required for organisations that continued to conduct consultant lobbying without paying their fees (and hence remained unregistered).

Reminder for quarterly information returns in January

The October to December quarterly information returns are due at the latest by Sunday 14 January 2018. Registrants who are content that their QIRs are unlikely to change before the end of the month, may wish to submit their returns as soon as possible. Last year, many organisations were late either because of annual leave or just getting forgotten about in the Christmas holidays. This is not acceptable-returns are not optional and MUST be submitted on or before the due date.

The Festive Period

There will be a reduced staff presence in the Office during the festive period and so registrants are asked to please bear with us should queries take longer than usual to resolve.

The Registrar and the Office would like to thank registrants and stakeholders for their continued engagement in 2017 to ensure compliance with the legislation, and to send best wishes for the festive season.

To download the quarterly newsletter at a PDF file, please click here.