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Lifting the Lid on Lobbying: Data Survey

The ranking of UK nations’ lobbying transparency standards compares 4 national jurisdictions (Westminster Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast) against 6 categories of lobbying transparency, comprising 24 indicators which allows to create 3 rankings for different tiers of government (Ministers, legislators & civil servants).

The six categories of indicators include the gifts and hospitality regime, the register of interests, lobbying by officials and politicians, transparency on lobbying, oversight of the ‘revolving door’ of employment and oversight of Cross-Party Groups. These indicators are applied to the different tiers of public decision makers (parliamentarians, Ministers and civil servants) and different UK institutions (Westminster and Whitehall; the Scottish Parliament and government; the Welsh Assembly and government; and the Northern Irish Assembly and government). 

These indicators inform us about strengths and weaknesses in the rules and standards. 

The findings indicate that there is much to be learned, in different ways, from good practice across the UK.

The House of Commons is the weakest performer in legislative transparency and integrity in the UK. There are no restrictions on taking payment in return for advice to lobbyists, while still serving as an MP. There are no restrictions on raising resources-resources-business in the House directly related to the private interests of the MP, beyond a declaration. Unlike legislators in Scotland and Wales, MPs are not advised to keep a record of lobbying meetings. No information relating to conflicts of interest or lobbying is produced as open data, though this has been earmarked for change. Currently, there is no restriction or advice in place for MPs to manage post-public employment corruption risks. Criminal sanctions do not apply for breaches of misconduct in Westminster, as they do in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff. 

To read our full report click here

To read our blog post on lobbying click here

To access a summary of key findings from our report click here

To read our press release click here


  Co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union


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  • Report published: Feb 2015

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