1 February 2018
CBI prepares members for the introduction of the Scottish Lobbying Act
Companies who engage in ‘regulated lobby’ must register activities from March 2018.
From 12 March 2018 the Lobbying (Scotland) Act will come into force and will impact any individual or business who engages in ‘regulated lobbying’.
Regulated lobbying includes activity which takes place face-to-face with MSPs, members of the Scottish Government, Scottish Government Special Advisers or the Scottish Government Permanent Secretary and which relates to Scottish Government or parliamentary functions. From 12 March individuals or businesses engaged in regulated lobbying will be required to register activities on a new online lobbying register.
In the run up to the Act coming into force, the Scottish Lobbying Registrar’s team has produced a 5-step guide to help businesses establish whether or not what they are doing falls under the terms of the Act. The CBI has also held several events in Scotland as well as in London to help prepare members for the Act. Further to this, the Lobbying Registrar, the Director of Public Policy at Pinsent Masons and Governance Manager from the CBI have recorded a podcast analysing what the Act means for business.
The Scottish Lobbying Act follows a trend towards increased openness around political lobbying. In Ireland, the Lobbying Act came into effect in September 2015 to increase transparent lobbying and in June 2016 the Welsh assembly asked the Standards of Conduct Committee to look at lobbying in Wales. Looking forward and following the 5 recommendations made by committee, the Welsh assembly will relook at the topic once there has been a review of the Scottish system.
Ultimately, the Scottish Lobbying Act will increase transparency in how businesses engage with key political stakeholders in Scotland. With the right procedures in place businesses will be able to continue their lobbying and gain more systematic insight into their political engagement.
For more information on the Act please contact Hannah.Collins@cbi.org.uk