Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust, Volume 1

Increasing Transparency through Legislation

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Lobbying can improve policy making by providing valuable insights and data, but it can also result in unfair advantages for vested interests if the process is opaque and standards are lax.‪‪ Lobbying is resource intensive. The financial services sector in the United States spent USD 3.4 billion lobbying the federal government between 1998 and 2008, principally promoting the deregulation of the financial sector. Legions of lobbyists provide “guns for hire” worldwide. In 2008, there were over 5 000 registered lobbyists in Canada at the national level, while the European Commission in Brussels had over 2 000 registered as of August 2009.


This report reviews the experiences of Australia, Canada, Hungary, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States with government regulations designed to increase scrutiny for lobbying and lobbyists. Current approaches, models, trends and state-of-the-art solutions are examined to support a deeper understanding of the potential and limitations of existing norms.‪ ‪The report also presents building blocks for developing a framework for lobbying that meets public expectations for transparency, accountability and integrity

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Building a Framework for Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Lobbying

This chapter presents key building blocks that provide decision makers with guidance to meet public expectations for transparency, accountability, integrity and efficacy when considering, developing, debating and implementing legislation or government regulations for enhancing transparency and accountability in lobbying. The building blocks address a series of interrelated issues that might logically guide the development of a comprehensive legislative or regulatory framework for enhancing transparency and accountability in lobbying, including: ? Developing standards and rules that adequately address public concerns, conform to the socio-political and administrative context, and are also consistent with the wider regulatory framework. ? Ensuring that the framework’s scope properly reflects public concerns and suitably defines the actors and activities covered in order to establish enforceable standards and rules. ? Establishing standards and procedures for disclosing information on key aspects of lobbying such as its intent, beneficiaries and targets. ? Setting enforceable standards of conduct for fostering a culture of integrity in lobbying. ? Enhancing the efficacy of legislation or regulation by putting in place a coherent spectrum of strategies and practices for supporting implementation and securing compliance.

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