Lobbying (Transparency) Bill (HL Bill 13)




Establish a Registrar of lobbyists, a register of lobbyists and a Code of Conduct
for lobbyists; and for related 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:—

1 Registrar of Lobbyists

(1) There is to be a Registrar of Lobbyists (“the Registrar”).

(2) The Registrar is to be appointed by the Secretary of State.

(3) The functions of the Registrar are to—

(a) 5establish and maintain a register of lobbyists (see sections 4 to 6);

(b) prepare and issue a code of conduct (see section 7);

(c) monitor compliance with the requirements to register and file returns,
and with the code, including investigation of possible breaches (see
section 8); and

(d) 10report to Parliament on the operation of this Act (see section 10).

(4) The Registrar may appoint staff, on terms and conditions determined by the

(5) The Secretary of State may—

(a) provide financial support to the Registrar, including to provide for
15remuneration, allowances and pensions for the Registrar and the staff
appointed by the Registrar; and

(b) provide premises, facilities or other assistance to the Registrar.

2 Definition of lobbyist

(1) For the purposes of this Act, “lobbyist” means a person who, for payment,
20undertakes lobbying activity.

(2) The definition of lobbyist in subsection (1) includes—

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(a) a “consultant lobbyist”, meaning a person who engages in lobbying
activity on behalf of a third party client; and

(b) an “in-house lobbyist”, meaning any employee, officer, director,
partner, proprietor or shareholder (but not unpaid volunteer) of an
5organisation, who engages in lobbying activity on behalf of that

(3) A person is engaged in “lobbying activity” if the person —

(a) arranges or facilitates a formal or informal meeting with a public

(b) 10communicates with a public official;

(c) advises others in a professional capacity in respect of the activities set
out in paragraphs (a) and (b);

(d) works to support the activities set out in paragraphs (a) and (b); or

(e) undertakes to do any of the activities set out in paragraphs (a) to (d);

15with a view to influencing any of the matters set out in subsection (4).

(4) The matters are—

(a) the holding of a debate or tabling of questions in either House of the
United Kingdom Parliament, the introduction of any Bill, motion or
resolution in either House of the United Kingdom Parliament or the
20passage, defeat or amendment of any Bill or resolution that is before
either House of the United Kingdom Parliament;

(b) the formulation, modification, or adoption of regulation, policy, or
position of Her Majesty‘s Government;

(c) the awarding of any contract, grant or other financial benefit by or on
25behalf of Her Majesty‘s Government.

(5) “Public official” means—

(a) Members of either House of the United Kingdom Parliament and their

(b) individuals employed by or working in or on behalf of—

(i) 30Government departments;

(ii) executive agencies, non-ministerial government departments
and non-departmental public bodies;

(iii) regulatory bodies.

(6) “Organisation” includes any of the following—

(a) 35a company incorporated under the Companies Act 2006, a partnership
or a sole trader;

(b) a business, trade, industry, enterprise or professional organisation;

(c) a non-profit organisation, association, charity, or interest group;

(d) a trade union or staff association;

(e) 40a chamber of commerce or board of trade;

(f) a foreign government, British Overseas Territory or Crown

(g) a coalition or group of organisations.

(7) Subject to section 3(3), “communicate” means—

(a) 45to contact by oral or written communication, including electronic
communications such as email or text messaging;

(b) the circulation of information material or position papers; or

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(c) the organisation of events or any promotional activity in support of a
lobbying position.

(8) “Payment” means any gift contract, promise, or agreement to pay money or
sponsorship to the organisation or the provision otherwise than on commercial
5terms of any property, services or facilities for the use or benefit of the
organization, including the services of any person.

3 Exemptions

(1) This Act does not apply to—

(a) a constituent contacting or communicating with their Member of

(b) a public official acting in an official capacity;

(c) elected members or officials working in international bodies of which
the United Kingdom is a member;

(d) a person contracted to, or on secondment to, government or otherwise
15acting in an official capacity on behalf of a government organisation;

(e) diplomats, consular officials or official representatives of foreign
governments when acting in their official capacity.

(2) This Act does not apply in respect of—

(a) any oral or written submission made to either House of the United
20Kingdom Parliament, or any of its committees, in proceedings that are
a matter of public record;

(b) a public response to an invitation by government to submit information
or evidence, or a public response to a government consultation
exercise, or a formal response to a public invitation to tender;

(c) 25administrative requests made by lobbyists, where no attempt is made
to influence.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, “communicate” does not include—

(a) any oral or written communication that is made widely and publicly
available, such as a speech;

(b) 30communication directly related to negotiations on terms and
conditions of employment of public service employees undertaken by
trade union or staff association representatives on behalf of their

(c) communication by media workers in the course of their work.

(4) 35Nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring the disclosure of the name
or identity of any individual where that disclosure could reasonably be
expected to threaten the safety of that individual.

4 The register of lobbyists

(1) The Registrar shall establish and maintain a register of lobbyists (“the

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a lobbyist must complete a registration, and file
quarterly returns, containing the information set out in sections 5 and 6, in the
form and manner required by the Registrar.

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(3) An in-house lobbyist whose total expenditure in connection with lobbying
activity does not exceed or is not expected to exceed £5000 over a three month
period is not required to register.

(4) If the Registrar requests a lobbyist to clarify any information that has been
5provided under sections 5 or 6, the lobbyist shall provide the Registrar with the
requested clarification, within 30 days of the request being made.

(5) The register must contain the information provided by lobbyists under
sections 5 and 6.

(6) The register must be publicly available at all times, without charge, via a

5 Registration

(1) A lobbyist must register with the Registrar—

(a) in the case of a consultant lobbyist, within 14 days of agreeing to engage
in lobbying activity on behalf of a third party client;

(b) 15in the case of an in-house lobbyist, within 30 days of the
commencement of lobbying activity.

(2) The registration must set out the following information, to the extent relevant
to that registrant—

(a) the name and business address of the registrant, and a general
20description of its business or activities;

(b) in the case of a consultant lobbyist, the name and business address of
the registrant‘s client, and a general description of its business;

(c) the name of each employee of the registrant who has acted or whom the
registrant expects to act as a lobbyist;

(d) 25if any such employee has served as a public official in the ten years
before the date on which the employee first acted as a lobbyist on behalf
of the organisation or client, the position in which such employee
served, and whether that employee is a United Kingdom Parliament

(e) 30the subject-matter of the lobbying activity;

(f) any relevant legislative proposal, Bill, resolution, regulation, policy,
program, grant, contribution, financial benefit or contract which is or is
planned to be the subject of lobbying activity;

(g) the name of any Government department or other governmental
35institution in which any public office holder is employed or serves at
whom the lobbying activity is directed;

(h) any communication technique that the registrant uses or expects to use
in connection with any lobbying activity.

(3) A registrant who is no longer engaged in lobbying activity may notify the
40Registrar and the Registrar must then terminate the registration.

(4) An organisation that has more than one employee engaged in lobbying activity
shall file a single registration on behalf of and listing such employees.

(5) In the case of an organisation or an individual engaged in lobbying activity on
behalf of more than one third party client, the organisation or individual shall
45file a separate registration under this section for each such client.

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6 Quarterly reports by registered lobbyists

(1) For any quarterly period (1 January to 31 March; 1 April to 30 June; 1 July to 30
September; 1 October to 31 December) during which a lobbyist is registered
under section 5, the registrant must file a report no later than 20 days after the
5end of that period.

(2) Each quarterly report must reconfirm (if the same), or set out (if there are any
changes), the information required under section 5, and in addition provide—

(a) in the case of an in-house lobbyist, an estimate of the total expenditure
that the registrant incurred in connection with lobbying activity during
10the quarterly period;

(b) in the case of a consultant lobbyist, an estimate of the total amount of
all income from the client (including any payments to the registrant by
any other person for lobbying activities on behalf of the client) during
the quarterly period, excluding income for matters unrelated to
15lobbying activities.

(3) Estimates under subsection (2) above £10,000 shall be rounded to the nearest
£10,000; and if an estimate is under £10,000 it must be reported as being less
than £10,000.

(4) For the purpose of subsection (2)(a), “expenditure” means monies spent,
20including salary costs, on lobbying activity.

7 Code of Conduct

(1) The Registrar must, after consulting relevant stakeholders, prepare and
publish a draft Code of Conduct.

(2) The Registrar may, from time to time, after consulting relevant stakeholders,
25prepare and publish draft revisions to the Code of Conduct.

(3) The Code of Conduct, and revisions to the code, come into force when the
Secretary of State has laid a copy of the draft code, or the draft revisions, before
each House of Parliament, and each House has by resolution approved the
code or the revisions.

(4) 30The code may contain provision requiring lobbyists to—

(a) act in a manner that demonstrates respect for democratic institutions,
including the duty of public office holders to serve the public interest;

(b) conduct all interactions with office holders with integrity and honesty,
and to take all reasonable measures to provide public office holders
35with information that is accurate and factual;

(c) be transparent about their lobbying activities; and

(d) not propose or undertake any action that would place a public office
holder in a real or apparent conflict of interest.

(5) Lobbyists registered under section 5 must comply with the Code of Conduct.

8 40Investigations by the Registrar

(1) The Registrar must conduct an investigation if the Registrar has reason to
believe it necessary in order to determine whether a lobbyist has breached—

(a) the requirement to register and file quarterly returns; or

(b) the requirements of the Code of Conduct.

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(2) Before making a finding that a lobbyist has breached the requirement to
register and file returns, or breached the Code, the Registrar must provide the
lobbyist with a reasonable opportunity to present its views to the Registrar.

(3) Where the Registrar finds that there has been a breach of the requirement to
5register or file returns, or a breach of the Code, the Registrar may suspend or
remove permanently from the register any individual involved in the breach.

(4) When an individual is suspended or removed from the register under this
section the Registrar must, without delay, submit a report to the Speaker of
each House of Parliament.

(5) 10The Registrar may publish a report on any investigation conducted under this

(6) The Secretary of State must lay before each House of Parliament any report
published by the Registrar under subsection (1).

9 Offence of lobbying without being registered

(1) 15It is an offence for a person to engage in lobbying activity without being
registered in accordance with the requirements of section 5 and filing quarterly
returns in accordance with section 6.

(2) It is an offence for a person to provide materially incomplete or inaccurate
information in a registration under section 5 or a return under section 6.

(3) 20A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

10 Reports on the performance of the Registrar‘s functions

(1) Each year, the Registrar must prepare and publish a report concerning the
performance of the Registrar‘s functions for the preceding year.

(2) 25The Registrar may, at any time, prepare and publish a special report
concerning any matter under this Act if, in the opinion of the Registrar, the
matter is of such urgency or importance that a report on it should not be
deferred until the next annual report.

(3) The Secretary of State must lay before each House of Parliament any report
30published by the Registrar under this section.

11 Repeals

Part 1 of, and Schedules 1 and 2 to, the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party
Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 are repealed.

12 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) 35This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) Sections 1 to 11 come into force on such day or days as the Secretary of State
may by regulations, made by statutory instrument, appoint.

(3) This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.

(4) This Act may be cited as the Lobbying (Transparency) Act 2016.