Magazine article Public Finance

Lobbyists to Face PASC Inquiry

Magazine article Public Finance

Lobbyists to Face PASC Inquiry

Article excerpt

A committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into lobbyists and their influence in Parliament and on public policy.

The public administration select committee's inquiry follows concerns around the extent to which lobby groups can control Commons' all party groups through the provision of administrative support and the drafting of reports.

Launching the inquiry with a call for evidence on June 21, the PASC stated: 'The public seems suspicious of some sorts of lobbying... 79% of respondents to a [2004] poll stated that they felt large corporations had influence over government policies, while only 34% felt they ought to enjoy such influence.'

Last year, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Sir Philip Mawer, upheld complaints against three APGs, covering intellectual property, patient safety and pharmacy, finding they had failed to publish the name of the 'ultimate client' on whose behalf Luther Pendragon, a lobby firm, was working.

In its June 21 Issues and questions paper, the PASC noted that lobbying is regulated in the US, with firms required to report on the issues they have sought to influence and how much money they have spent doing so. …

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