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Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust, Volume 1

Increasing Transparency through Legislation

image of Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust, Volume 1

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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Poland's Experience

Developing and Implementing the Act on Legislative and Regulatory Lobbying

Decision makers in Poland faced a major challenge when defining the scope of legislation on lobbying that would adequately take into account public demands. This chapter outlines the Polish sociopolitical context under which the government initiated and developed a proposal for legislation on lobbying. The chapter describes the process in which an original “sanctionoriented” approach to the proposed legislation shifted to a good governance approach that aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the legislative process. Complementary measures supporting access to public information and consultation in the legislation and law-drafting process are also highlighted. Moreover, the chapter highlights the government’s efforts to implement the new Act on Legislative and Regulatory Lobbying which came into force on 7 March 2006 and provides statistical and qualitative data on the experiences of its application in daily practice.

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