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Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust, Volume 3

Implementing the OECD Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying

image of Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust, Volume 3

This report takes stock of progress made in implementing the 2010 Recommendation on Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying – the only international instrument addressing major risks in the public decision-making process related to lobbying. The review process found that although there is an emerging consensus on the need for transparency to shed light on lobbying, new regulations are often scandal-driven instead of forward looking.

In countries that have regulations in place, the degree of transparency in lobbying varies considerably across OECD members. Moving forward, it will be essential for countries to focus efforts on the implementation of the Recommendation, in order to strengthen confidence in the public decision-making process and restore trust in government. It will also be crucial to strengthen the implementation of the wider integrity framework, as it is the prime tool for safeguarding transparency and integrity in the decision-making process in general and lobbying practices in particular.

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Integrity in public decision making

Across countries, trust in the public decision-making process has dwindled, damaged by citizens’ perceptions of corruption and the undue influence of powerful interest groups. Improper dealings between lobbyists and public officials, conflicts of interest, and revolving door practices have attracted particular attention.Although it takes two to lobby, governments have prime responsibility for setting out clear standards of conduct for public officials who may be lobbied. In addition to reviewing moves that specifically target lobbying – to improve its transparency, for example – this chapter analyses the measures that countries have taken that address the broader integrity framework. These measures have proven valuable in addressing concerns of conflicts of interest and undue influence in the decision-making process.

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