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On Thursday 21 January the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists held an event on Lobbying regulation at the BIS Conference Centre in London. Over 80 delegates attended the event including those already on the Register, potential registrants, representatives from industry bodies and transparency groups.
Delegates were able to hear the perspective of the Minister for Constitution Reform, John Penrose and Alison White, the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists on the future of lobbying regulation (Alison White’s presentation for stakeholder conference 21 January 2016). There was also a panel discussion with the Registrar and representatives from the PRCA, APPC and CIPR, where delegates were able to question the speakers on their views on good practice in compliance with lobbying regulation and associated corporate governance.
The event provoked a wide variety of questions from the audience including questions on how potential non-traditional lobbyists will be brought on to the Register, the scope of the legislation, the cost of regulation and the experience of other jurisdictions. Alison White also explained to the audience what she expects in terms of compliance with the requirements to register and how her team can help with individual queries or concerns. She also updated the conference on the work she is doing engaging with potential registrants from a wide range of sectors, including the lawyers, accountants, management consultants and think tanks.
Alison White commented “Events such as this are important opportunity for the industry to hear from all those involved in the regulation of lobbying of what good practice looks like and for the industry to ask questions about the practical implications of the regulations on their respective organisations. As Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists I have consistently sought to engage with the industry so that they are clear on the requirements for registration and I hope to be able to organise events such as this in the future, if the industry would find it useful.”
Lionel Zetter who chaired the panel discussion commented “The event was well attended, and well worthwhile.”