Committee broadly supports PRCA recommendations for statutory register

London, 13th July -The PRCA has welcomed the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s call for the Government to scrap its current proposals for a statutory register of lobbyists.

The Committee said a system of ‘medium regulation’, that closely resembles the current PRCA Public Affairs Register, should replace the Government’s current proposals.

Medium regulation would cover “all those who lobby professionally”, including in-house lobbyists, lobbyists for trade bodies, charities, trade unions, think tanks, and other organisations.

The PRCA - which currently operates the only public affairs register for in-house organisations in the UK - made it clear in its oral evidence to the Committee and its written submission to the Government’s consultation on a statutory register of lobbyists, that the current proposals, which did not include in-house lobbyists, are not fit for purpose.

The Committee also endorsed the PRCA’s proposal to disclose which organisations are regulated by a trade body and their respective code of conduct.

Francis Ingham, PRCA Chief Executive, said: “It is a great sign that the Committee broadly endorses our proposals. It is now up to the Government to drop its current plans and introduce a universal statutory register as quickly as possible.

“Not a single person has said to me that the current proposals for a statutory register are right. I hope that the Government listens to the growing number of voices both inside and outside Parliament that disapprove of this poor sop to the Coalition Agreement.”

Emily Wallace, Operations Director at Connect Communications and PRCA Public Affairs Group Chairman said: “It’s good to see the Committee recognise that the Government proposals set out to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist, and acknowledge that the vast majority of us working with multiple clients already work in an open and transparent way”.

The Government will publish the findings of its consultation on a statutory register of lobbyists before Parliament rises for the summer.

A White Paper and Draft Bill are expected in spring 2013.


Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Francis Ingham on 020 7233 6026

The full report by the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee is available here.

About the PRCA

The PRCA has held its own Public Affairs Code of Conduct since 2000 and its own Public Affairs Register since 2005/2006. Its most recent iteration can be found at /paregister. The most recent Register covers agencies, in-house communications teams, freelancers and individuals from the period March to May 2012.

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 250 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 100 UK consultancies. We also represent over 70 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.