Possible Reforms to Lobbying Code of Conduct and the Register of Lobbyists
In 2008 the Australian Government introduced a Lobbying Code of Conduct and established a Register of Lobbyists to ensure that contact between lobbyists and Commonwealth Government representatives is conducted in accordance with public expectations of transparency, integrity and honesty.
Any lobbyist who acts on behalf of third-party clients for the purposes of lobbying Government representatives must be registered on the Register and must comply with the requirements of the Code.
While the introduction of the Code and the establishment of the Register have contributed to good governance in the industry and provided greater transparency, the lobbying sector continues to be the subject of public commentary.
As part of the Government’s commitment to keep the Code under review, several proposals aimed at strengthening and maintaining the integrity of the Register and the Code, as well as addressing the broader issues of openness, transparency and accountability, were discussed at a roundtable meeting of selected lobbyists in March 2010.
Participants at the roundtable were also given the opportunity to provide general feedback on how the current arrangements were working and to raise other matters not covered by the draft reform proposals.
Areas of possible reform, some background information and additional feedback provided by roundtable participants are set out in a discussion paper for comment. The proposals in the paper are intended as a starting point for a dialogue on the way forward for future reforms.
The Government will consider the need to amend the requirements of the Code and Register in the light of the feedback it receives on the discussion paper.
Comments should be submitted to the Lobbyists Register via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 30 September 2010.