Lobbying and ethical standards
Lobbying and lobbyists have come in for considerable criticism over the last few years and in some cases that criticism has been entirely justified.
At CLC we believe that in an open, democratic society there is an entirely legitimate and proper role for lobbying as a channel of communication between government and governed. Honestly and transparently undertaken, presenting a reasoned case for a client enables government to take account of matters that it might have overlooked in formulating its policy on a particular issue. Lobbying is about communication, not about attempting to buy influence.
As members of the European Public Affairs Consultancies' Association (EPACA), we have signed and adhere to its Code of Conduct. Through EPACA we are actively involved in the development of lobbying standards in the EU and we fully support the transparency initiatives being developed within the European Commission. The EPACA Code commits us to act in an honest and responsible way in our dealings with the EU institutions – and we follow the same standards for all our work in the UK.
We do not:
- make ‘anonymous’ telephone calls to civil servants;
- attempt to obtain confidential information by any kind of deception;
- take ‘contacts’ out to lunch (the most anyone is likely to get in our office is coffee and biscuits); or
- employ ‘cabs for hire’ among current or former MPs, peers or their staff, either directly or indirectly.
- identify ourselves by name and by company when making contact with government institutions;
- declare the interest that we are representing;
- tell the truth at all times; and
- honour confidentiality.
We are scrupulous in checking that potential clients have no existing conflicts of interests with current clients.
In order to be accepted as a legitimate element in the democratic process, lobbying needs to be conducted to the highest ethical standards. Integrity is at the heart of everything we do: anything else would simply not be in the interests of our clients.
CLC is registered on the Register of Consultant Lobbyists established under the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration (2014) Act. CLC is also registered on the joint EU Transparency Register (identification number: 85317577507-40).