Inquiry into Lobbying - Consultation
The National Assembly’s Standards of Conduct Committee has opened a public consultation on the subject of lobbying Assembly Members.
The Committee’s inquiry intends to establish whether it is clear what the citizen wants to know with regards to lobbying and if so, whether the arrangements in Wales at present provide enough information, accessibility and transparency?
To do this, the Committee will assess whether the Assembly’s current arrangements relating to lobbying are sufficiently robust and fit-for-purpose for the Fifth Assembly.
Among the questions the Committee will be asking during the course of its inquiry will be:
- What do you understand by the term lobbying?
- How is lobbying regulated at the moment?
- Do you consider yourself a lobbyist? How is lobbying regulated within your sector at the moment? E.g. if you are a private business, third sector, professional organization; and
- Have you encountered any problems with the current arrangements?
“Lobbying is considered by some to be a dark art, which happens behind closed doors and in quiet corners by people with commercial gains in mind,” said Jayne Bryant AM, Chair of the Standards of Conduct Committee.
“But lobbying can also be by charities, voluntary organisations and members of the public with genuine concerns and beliefs that changes in certain areas can be for the betterment of Wales.
“Striking a balance with enough information, accessibility and transparency then is critical, as people should feel completely comfortable approaching their elected representatives without concerns of whether they are under undue influence.
“To date, this Committee, or its predecessor, has received no formal complaints concerning lobbying at the National Assembly. But we should still remain vigilant, ask critical questions and ensure elected members are above reproach regarding such matters.”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Standards of Conduct Committee inquiry into lobbying should visit the Committee’s consultation page for more information, or email SeneddStandards@assembly.wales.