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A

BILL

TO

Make provision for establishing and maintaining a register of persons carrying
on the business of consultant lobbying and to require those persons to be
entered in the register; to make provision about expenditure and donations for
political purposes; to make provision about the Electoral Commission’s
functions with respect to compliance with requirements imposed by or by
virtue of enactments; to make provision relating to a trade union’s duty to
maintain a register of members under section 24 of the Trade Union and
Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Registration of consultant lobbyists

Requirement to register

1 Prohibition on consultant lobbying unless registered

(1) 5A person must not carry on the business of consultant lobbying unless—

(a) the person, or

(b) if the person is an employee, the person’s employer,

is entered in the register of consultant lobbyists.

(2) Sections 3 to 7 make provision about the keeping and publication of the
10register.

2 Meaning of consultant lobbying

(1) For the purposes of this Part, a person carries on the business of consultant
lobbying if—

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(a) in the course of a business and in return for payment, the person makes
communications within subsection (3) on behalf of another person or
persons, and

(b) none of the exceptions in Part 1 of Schedule 1 applies.

(2) 5Part 2 of that Schedule makes provision about the meaning, for the purposes of
this Part of this Act, of terms used in subsection (1).

(3) The communications within this subsection are oral or written
communications made personally to a Minister of the Crown or permanent
secretary relating to—

(a) 10the development, adoption or modification of any proposal of the
government to make or amend primary or subordinate legislation;

(b) the development, adoption or modification of any other policy of the
government;

(c) the making, giving or issuing by the government of, or the taking of any
15other steps by the government in relation to,—

(i) any contract or other agreement,

(ii) any grant or other financial assistance, or

(iii) any licence or other authorisation; or

(d) the exercise of any other function of the government.

(4) 20It does not matter whether the Minister or permanent secretary, or the person
making the communication, or both, are outside the United Kingdom when the
communication is made.

(5) In this section—

Keeping the register

3 The Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists

(1) 35There is to be a Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists.

(2) Schedule 2 makes provision about the Registrar.

4 The register

(1) The Registrar must keep and publish a register of consultant lobbyists.

(2) The entry for each registered person must include—

(a) 40in the case of a company—

(i) its name, its registered number and the address of its registered
office, and

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(ii) the names of its directors and of any secretary or shadow
directors;

(b) in the case of a partnership (including a limited liability partnership),
the names of the partners and the address of its main office or place of
5business;

(c) in the case of an individual, the individual’s name and the address of
the individual’s main place of business (or, if there is no such place, the
individual’s residence);

(d) in the case of any other person (including persons outside the United
10Kingdom), the equivalent information as specified in regulations;

(e) any name or names, not included under paragraphs (a) to (d), under
which the person carries on business as a consultant lobbyist;

(f) such other information regarding the identity of the person as may be
determined by the Registrar;

(g) 15such other information as may be specified in regulations.

(3) Each entry must also include—

(a) the registered person’s client information for every quarter in which
the person has been entered in the register (see section 5(3)), and

(b) if the person received payment in the relevant pre-registration period
20to engage in lobbying, the name of the person or persons on whose
behalf the lobbying was or is to be done.

(4) The relevant pre-registration period is the period of 3 months preceding the
date on which the person applied to be entered in the register.

(5) Regulations may make further provision in connection with the register; and
25in particular may—

(a) specify other information about the persons mentioned in subsection
(3)(b) which must be included in the register;

(b) make provision about applications to be entered in the register,
including the form and content of those applications.

(6) 30Any expression which is used in subsection (2)(a) and in the Companies Acts
has the meaning which it has in those Acts (see, in particular, Schedule 8 to the
Companies Act 2006).

5 Notification of client information and changes

(1) A registered person must submit an information return to the Registrar for
35each quarter.

(2) The information return for a quarter must contain—

(a) either the client information for that quarter or a statement under
subsection (5), and

(b) details of any change in that quarter in the particulars included in the
40register under section 4(2).

(3) The client information for a quarter is—

(a) if the registered person engaged in lobbying in the quarter in return for
payment (whether or not the payment has been received), the name of
any person on whose behalf the lobbying was done, and

(b) 45if the registered person received payment in the quarter to engage in
lobbying (whether or not the lobbying has been done), the name of any
person on whose behalf the lobbying is or was to be done.

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(4) Regulations may specify other information about the persons mentioned in
subsection (3) which must be included in an information return.

(5) A statement under this subsection is a statement that, in the quarter in
question, the registered person neither engaged in lobbying in return for
5payment nor received payment to engage in lobbying.

(6) The information return for a quarter must be submitted before the end of the
period of 2 weeks beginning immediately after the end of the quarter.

6 Duty to update register

(1) The Registrar must keep the register up to date.

(2) 10In particular, the Register must comply with subsections (3) and (4).

(3) Where a person applies, in accordance with regulations, to be entered in the
register, the Registrar must register the person before the end of the period of
4 working days beginning with the day after the day on which the application
is received.

(4) 15Where an information return is received by the Registrar, the Registrar must
update the register to include any information or change notified in it.

(5) The Registrar must comply with subsection (4)—

(a) if the return is received before the end of the period specified in section
5(6), before the end of the period of 4 working days beginning with the
20day after the day on which the return is received, or

(b) if the return is received after the end of that period, before the end of
the period of 8 working days beginning with the day after the day on
which the return is received.

(6) If the Registrar has reasonable grounds for believing that a registered person is
25not (or is no longer) a consultant lobbyist, the Registrar may decide that—

(a) the person’s entry should include a statement to that effect, or

(b) the person should be removed from the register.

(7) In this section “working day” means any day other than—

(a) a Saturday or Sunday, or

(b) 30a day which is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial
Dealings Act 1971 in any part of the United Kingdom.

7 Duty to publish register

(1) The Registrar—

(a) must publish the register as kept in accordance with section 6, and

(b) 35may publish such entries, or parts of entries, as the Registrar thinks
appropriate in respect of persons who were, but are no longer, entered
in the register.

(2) Publication under this section is to be—

(a) on a website, and

(b) 40in such other form or forms as the Registrar thinks appropriate.

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Compliance

8 Duty to monitor

The Registrar must monitor compliance with the obligations imposed by or
under this Part.

9 5Notice to supply information

(1) In connection with the duty under section 8, the Registrar may serve a notice
(an “information notice”) on a person mentioned in subsection (2) requiring the
person to supply information specified in the notice.

(2) The persons are—

(a) 10any registered person;

(b) any person who is not entered in the register but whom the Registrar
has reasonable grounds for believing to be a consultant lobbyist.

(3) Regulations may specify descriptions of information which the Registrar may
not require a person to supply under this section.

(4) 15An information notice must—

(a) specify the form in which the information must be supplied,

(b) specify the date by which the information must be supplied, and

(c) contain particulars of the right to appeal under section 11.

(5) The date specified under subsection (4)(b) must not be before the end of the
20period within which an appeal under section 11 can be brought.

(6) Section 10 sets out limitations on—

(a) what information is required to be supplied under a notice, and

(b) how information which is supplied may be used.

(7) The Registrar may cancel an information notice by written notice to the person
25on whom it was served.

10 Limitations on duty to supply information and use of information supplied

(1) An information notice does not require a person to supply information if—

(a) doing so would disclose evidence of the commission of an offence,
other than an offence excluded by subsection (2), and

(b) 30the disclosure would expose the person to proceedings for that offence.

(2) The following offences are excluded from subsection (1)

(a) an offence under this Part;

(b) an offence under section 5 of the Perjury Act 1911 (false statements
made otherwise than on oath);

(c) 35an offence under section 44 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation)
(Scotland) Act 1995 (false statements made otherwise than on oath);

(d) an offence under Article 10 of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order
1979 (S.I.1979/1714 (N.I.19)S.I.1979/1714 (N.I.19)) (false statutory declarations etc).

(3) Any relevant statement made by a person (“P”) in response to a requirement in
40an information notice may not be used in evidence against P on a prosecution

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for an offence under this Part (except section 12(4)) unless the conditions in
subsection (4) are met.

(4) The conditions are that in the proceedings—

(a) in giving evidence P provides information inconsistent with the
5relevant statement, and

(b) evidence relating to the statement is adduced, or a question relating to
it is asked, by P or on P’s behalf.

(5) In subsection (3) “relevant statement”, in relation to a requirement in an
information notice, means—

(a) 10an oral statement, or

(b) a written statement made for the purposes of the requirement.

11 Right to appeal against information notice

(1) A person on whom an information notice has been served may appeal to the
Tribunal against the notice.

(2) 15If an appeal is brought under this section, the person is not required to supply
the information until the date on which the appeal is finally determined or
withdrawn.

(3) Regulations may make provision for and in connection with the determination
of appeals under this section.

20Offences

12 Offences

(1) It is an offence for a person to carry on the business of consultant lobbying in
breach of section 1(1) (lobbying whilst unregistered).

(2) It is an offence for a person to engage in lobbying if—

(a) 25the person’s entry in the register is inaccurate or incomplete in a
material particular, and

(b) the person has failed, when required to submit an information return
under section 5, to provide sufficient information in or accompanying
the return to enable the inaccuracy or omission to be rectified.

(3) 30Where a person is required to submit an information return under section 5, it
is an offence for the person—

(a) to fail to do so within the period specified in section 5(6), or

(b) to provide information which is inaccurate or incomplete in a material
particular.

(4) 35Where an information notice has been served on a person, it is an offence for
the person—

(a) to fail to supply the required information on or before the date by
which the person is required to do so, or

(b) to provide information which is inaccurate or incomplete in a material
40particular.

(5) It is a defence for a person charged under any of subsections (1) to (4) to show
that the person exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

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(6) A person is taken to have shown the fact mentioned in subsection (5) if—

(a) sufficient evidence of the fact is adduced to raise an issue with respect
to it, and

(b) the contrary is not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

(7) 5A person guilty of an offence under any of subsections (1) to (4) is liable—

(a) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to a fine not
exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b) in any other case, to a fine.

(8) In the case of a summary conviction in England and Wales for an offence
10committed before the coming into force of section 85 of the Legal Aid,
Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, the fine under subsection
(7) must not exceed the statutory maximum.

(9) Proceedings for an offence under this Part may be instituted—

(a) in England and Wales, only by or with the consent of the Director of
15Public Prosecutions;

(b) in Northern Ireland, only by or with the consent of the Director of
Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

13 Bodies corporate and Scottish partnerships

(1) Where an offence under this Part is committed by a body corporate and is
20proved—

(a) to have been committed with the consent or connivance of a director,
manager, secretary or other similar officer, or

(b) to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any such individual,

the individual as well as the body corporate is guilty of the offence and is liable
25to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(2) Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection
(1) applies in relation to the acts and omissions of a member in connection with
that management as if the member were a director of the body corporate.

(3) Where an offence under this Part is committed by a partnership constituted
30under the law of Scotland and is proved—

(a) to have been committed with the consent or connivance of a partner, or

(b) to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any such individual,

the individual as well as the partnership is guilty of the offence and is liable to
be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

35Civil penalties

14 Civil penalties

(1) The Registrar may impose a civil penalty on a person (in accordance with
sections 15 to 18) if the Registrar is satisfied that the person’s conduct amounts
to an offence under any of subsections (1) to (4) of section 12.

(2) 40For this purpose—

(a) section 12(5) (defence of due diligence) is to be ignored, and

(b) a person’s conduct includes a failure to act.

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15 Notice of intention to impose civil penalty

(1) Before imposing a civil penalty on a person, the Registrar must serve on that
person a notice stating that the Registrar proposes to impose the penalty.

(2) The notice must—

(a) 5set out the conduct on which the proposal to impose the penalty is
based,

(b) set out the reasons why the Registrar is satisfied that the person has
engaged in that conduct,

(c) state the amount of the proposed penalty, and

(d) 10inform the person that the person may, within a period specified in the
notice, make written representations in relation to the proposal.

(3) The Registrar must not impose the civil penalty before the end of the period
specified under subsection (2)(d).

(4) The Registrar must consider any written representations received before the
15end of that period.

16 Imposition of penalty

(1) If the Registrar decides to impose a civil penalty, the Registrar must serve on
the person a notice to that effect (a “penalty notice”).

(2) The notice must—

(a) 20set out the conduct on which the decision to impose the penalty is
based,

(b) set out the reasons why the Registrar is satisfied that the person has
engaged in that conduct,

(c) specify the amount of the penalty,

(d) 25specify the period within which and the form in which the penalty must
be paid, and

(e) contain particulars of the right to appeal under section 17.

(3) The amount specified in a penalty notice must not exceed £7500.

(4) Regulations may amend subsection (3) by substituting a different maximum
30figure.

(5) The period specified under subsection (2)(d) must not end before the end of the
period within which an appeal under section 17 can be brought.

(6) The person must pay the amount before the end of that period (but this is
subject to section 17(2)).

(7) 35The Registrar may vary or cancel a penalty notice by written notice to the
person on whom it was served.

17 Right to appeal against imposition of civil penalty

(1) A person on whom a penalty notice has been served may appeal to the
Tribunal against—

(a) 40the decision to impose the penalty;

(b) if the penalty notice has been varied, the decision to vary it;

(c) the amount of the penalty.

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(2) If an appeal is brought under this section, the person is not required to pay the
civil penalty until the date on which the appeal is finally determined or
withdrawn.

(3) Regulations may make provision for and in connection with the determination
5of appeals under this section.

18 Civil penalties and criminal proceedings

(1) The Registrar may not impose a civil penalty on a person in respect of any
conduct—

(a) at any time after criminal proceedings for an offence under this Part
10have been instituted against the person in respect of that conduct and
before those proceedings have been concluded, or

(b) after the person has been convicted of an offence under this Part in
respect of that conduct.

(2) If the Registrar has imposed a civil penalty on a person in respect of any
15conduct, the person may not be convicted of an offence under this Part in
respect of that conduct.

19 Enforcement

(1) An amount payable to the Registrar as a civil penalty may be recovered by the
Registrar as a debt.

(2) 20In proceedings for the enforcement of a civil penalty no question may be raised
as to—

(a) liability to the imposition of the penalty, or

(b) the amount of the penalty.

(3) The Registrar must pay into the Consolidated Fund any sums received by virtue of a
25penalty notice.

20 Further provision about civil penalties

Regulations may make further provision about civil penalties; and in particular
may—

(a) specify circumstances in which a penalty may not be imposed;

(b) 30specify steps that the Registrar must take before imposing a penalty;

(c) set a minimum for the period which must be specified under section
15(2)(d) or 16(2)(d);

(d) require other matters to be specified in a notice under either of those
sections;

(e) 35specify a maximum period that may elapse between the service of a
notice under section 15 and the service of a penalty notice under section
16;

(f) provide for the reviewing of a decision to impose a penalty;

(g) make provision about the variation or cancellation of notices under
40section 16(7);

(h) impose duties on the Registrar about the keeping of accounts and other
records in relation to penalties;

(i) allow for the charging of interest, or an additional penalty, if a penalty
is paid late.

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