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CIF WELCOMES LOBBYING BILL
By Ruth Baily
The Government has published the long awaited Registration of Lobbying Bill 2014. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) welcomes this Bill and looks forward to its commencement. The Bill will allow the wider public to see “who is lobbying whom about what”.
The CIF has always carried out any engagement it has had with Government or any of its departments and agencies in an open manner. We believe transparency should be a requirement for all political and civil service engagement when it comes to influencing public decisions.
CIF is already very transparent in our dealings with Government. When we are engaging with the Government we do so openly – publicising our reports, detailing our positions on various issues and providing information about meetings and conversations to our members and to other stakeholders.
The register needs to cover all forms of lobbying if it is to be effective. We can’t have one rule for some groups and another rule for others. If we want true transparency that is the only option.
The Lobbying Bill will make engagement throughout all sectors and at all levels more transparent. The Bill also requires all interactions, communications and meetings between public bodies to be logged and three returns filed per year at the end of April, August and December.
It is hoped that the Bill will be commenced in the summer of 2015 following a period of preparation and information.
The CIF looks forward to the implementation of this Bill and we hope that it will bring greater oversight and transparency to the process of engaging with politicians and public officials.