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Lobbying Bill published

Published: 30 Oct 2015 08:54

Increasing transparency.

New legislation to increase transparency around lobbying has been published in the Scottish Parliament today.

The Lobbying (Scotland) Bill fulfils a commitment by the Scottish Government in the Programme for Government and follows a public consultation earlier this year.

The Bill builds on the work of the Standards, Procedures, Public Appointments Committee and will 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.

Minister for Parliamentary Business, Joe FitzPatrick, said:

"The Scottish Parliament already has strict rules around lobbying activity, but it is important that we act now to put beyond doubt any question of lobbying impropriety in Scotland and increase transparency.

"I am very pleased to be introducing this Bill and the Scottish Government will seek to obtain cross-party consensus for improving the transparency of lobbying practice, working with all political parties and a wide range of stakeholders.

"I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our consultation and we remain open to any suggestions on how legislation can be further improved as we look to ensure that lobbying in the future is as open and transparent as possible."

Notes to editors

Consultation responses:

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/08/2246/0

A Consultation on Proposals for a Lobbying Transparency Bill: Analysis of Written Responses

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/10/2647

A Consultation on Proposals for a Lobbying Transparency Bill: Analysis of Written Responses - Research Findings

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/10/9089

FOI response issued on 19 October 2015 giving details of every individual/group/organisation that has had a face-to-face meeting with the Scottish Government on the issue of a register of lobbyists, including the names of every individual, group or organisation, the date of the meeting, and who they met:

http://www.gov.scot/About/People/Directorates/strategy-and-constitution/information-released