Definitions of terms

Adherents: This refers to OECD Members and non-Members that have agreed to adhere to an OECD Recommendation. The expectation is that Adherents will do their utmost to implement a Recommendation fully. In this report, the term Adherents refers to all OECD Members and to Peru, with respect to the OECD Recommendation on Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying.

Advisory or expert groups: This refers to any committee, board, commission, council, conference, panel, task force or similar group, or any subcommittee or other subgroup thereof, that provides governments with advice, expertise or recommendations. These may be made up of public and/or private-sector members and/or representatives from civil society and may be put in place by the executive, legislative or judicial branches of government or government subdivisions, either on an ad hoc or standing basis.

Conflict of interest: A “conflict of interest” involves a conflict between a public official’s public duty and private interests, where the public official has interests in a private capacity that could improperly influence the performance of the official’s duties and responsibilities.

Cooling-off period: This refers to a time limit imposed on officials previously employed by public sector organisations in order to prevent any offences that they might commit by engaging with their former contacts after they leave public employment.

Countries: For the purpose of this report, the term “countries” refers to all Adherents to the OECD Recommendation on Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying (i.e. all OECD Members and Peru), as well as Brazil and Romania. Unless otherwise specified, in the case of federal countries, all information provided concerns only the federal level of those countries.

Legislative/regulatory footprint: This refers to a comprehensive public record of private parties’ influence on a piece of regulation.

Lobbying: This refers to the act of lawfully attempting to influence the design, implementation, execution and evaluation of public policies and regulations administered by executive, legislative or judicial public officials at the local, regional or national level.

Open government: This refers to a culture of governance that promotes the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation, in support of democracy and inclusive growth.

Policy capture: This is a broad term encompassing any situation where the decisions taken in a policy cycle mainly reflect the interests of a narrow interest group.

Public integrity: This refers to consistent alignment of, and adherence to, shared ethical values, principles and norms for upholding and prioritising the public interest over private interests in the public sector.

Public official: This refers to an elected or non-elected individual carrying out duties in the public sector, at the central and subnational levels of government, whether appointed or elected, paid or unpaid, or in a permanent or temporary position.

Public sector: This term includes legislative, executive, administrative and judicial bodies and their public officials, whether appointed or elected, paid or unpaid, in a permanent or temporary position, at the central and subnational levels of government. It can include public corporations, state-owned enterprises and public-private partnerships and their officials, as well as officials and entities that deliver public services (e.g. in health, education and public transport), which can be contracted out or privately funded in some countries.

Recommendations: These OECD legal instruments are not legally binding. However, practice accords them great moral force, as representing the political will of the countries that have agreed to adhere to them.

Special interest groups: These are groups, usually limited in number relative to the population, that are well-organised and have significant financial resources to focus on influencing public policies and regulations on a specific issue. The term has a negative connotation and denotes actions by these groups that primarily benefit the groups themselves, at the expense of society as a whole.

Stakeholder participation: This refers to all the various ways in which stakeholders can be involved in the policy cycle and in service design and delivery, and includes information, consultation and engagement.

Undue influence: This is the act of attempting to influence the design, implementation, execution and evaluation of public policies and regulations administered by public officials, whether by providing covert, deceptive or misleading evidence or data, by manipulating public opinion or by using other practices intended to manipulate the decisions of public officials.

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