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Register of All-Party Groups Contents


INTRODUCTION

Purpose of the Register

The establishment of the Register dates from a Resolution of the House on 17 December 1985 (shown overleaf). Essentially the purpose of the Register is to record "the officers of the Group, and the source and extent of any benefits financial or in kind from outside sources which they may enjoy, together with any other relevant gainful occupation of any staff which they may have."

Form of the Register

Section 1: Country groups, the majority of which function under the auspices of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) or the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). Groups are listed in alphabetical order according to the name of the country or region to which the group relates.

Section 2: Subject groups, listed in alphabetical order according to the group's title.

Titles: Groups termed All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) allow full membership (ie voting rights) to Members of either House only; Associate Parliamentary Groups (APGs) allow full membership to Members of either House and to Strangers. Only groups which are both on the Register and on the Approved List (see below) may use these titles.

Administrative Arrangements and Inspection

The Register is usually updated at the beginning of every month, when the House is sitting. It is available for public inspection at the House of Commons, by appointment only (contact 020-7219 6615), and a copy is put in the Library for Members to inspect. It is also on the Internet at www.parliament.uk (select `Index', then the letter `R', then `Register of All-Party Groups'.

The Register is compiled and maintained by the Assistant Registrar (020-7219 0401) on behalf of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and is regulated by the Committee on Standards and Privileges.

Approved List of All-Party Parliamentary Groups and Associate Parliamentary Groups

The Register is distinct from the Approved List, which exists because of a Resolution made by the House on 31 October 1984. Groups so listed enjoy certain privileges over unlisted groups (eg. they may use the words Parliamentary and All-Party in the group's title; they have greater priority when booking meeting rooms; they may use the All-Party Notices to advertise their meetings). Inclusion on the Approved List is optional but is only allowed to groups that undertake to meet certain conditions regarding membership and working practices.

The Approved List is compiled and maintained by the Assistant Registrar on behalf of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, though it is regulated by the Administration Committee. It is regularly updated and circulated to various departments within the House. A copy is available for inspection by Members in the Oriel Room at the House of Commons.

Information List

The House of Commons Information Office (020-7219 4272) produces an Information List of all registered and approved groups. This details each group's statement of purpose and officers as well as providing background information about groups generally.

RESOLUTION REQUIRING GROUPS TO REGISTER
17 December 1985

 Resolved, That this House takes note of the Report of the Select Committee on Members' Interests in the last Session of Parliament; welcomes the intention of the Committee stated in paragraphs 7 and 9 of the Report to keep under review both Parliamentary lobbying and the appropriate scope of the declaration and registration required of Members who are so engaged; emphasises that it is the personal responsibility of each Member to have regard to his public position and the good name of Parliament in any work he undertakes or any interest he acquires; confirms that the scope of the requirements to register remunerated trades, professions or vocations includes any remunerated activity in the fields of public relations and political and parliamentary advice and consultancy; in particular agrees with the Select Committee in its statement in paragraph 10 of its Report in regard to the registration and declaring of clients that the services which require such registration and, where appropriate, declaration: `include as well as any action connected with any proceedings in the House or its Committees, the sponsoring of functions in the Palace, making representations to Ministers, Civil Servants and other Members, accompanying delegations to Ministers and the like'; and further agrees with its recommendations in the interests of greater openness, namely that:

             1. those holding permanent passes as lobby journalists accredited to Parliamentary press Gallery or for parliamentary broadcasting be required to register not only the employment for which they had received their pass, but also any other paid occupation or employment where their privileged access to Parliament is relevant;
  
             2. holders of permanent passes as Members' secretaries or Members' research assistants be required to register any relevant gainful occupation which they may pursue other than that for which the pass is issued; and
  
             3. Commons officers in All-Party Groups, Parliamentary Groups, and Groups whose membership is open to Members of either House of more than one party[1], be required to register the names of the officers of the Group, and the source and extent of any benefits financial or in kind from outside sources which they may enjoy, together with any other relevant gainful occupation of any staff which they may have. Where a public relations agency provides the assistance, the ultimate client should be named;

and that the Registers be made available for public inspection under arrangements to be approved by the Committee on Standards and Privileges[2]; and asks that the Committee considers further measures to strengthen disclosure provisions including the possibility of identifying interests in Parliamentary Questions, whether the amount of remuneration should be declared as well as the interest, and whether there is the need to consider constraints on voting.


1   Words in italics were amended by a Resolution of the House on 10 March 1989. Back

2   Words in italics were amended by a Resolution of the House on 29 July 1998. Back


 
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Prepared 14 May 2001