Scottish Government Introduces New Lobbying Register
13th February 2018
Do you ever talk to MSPs on behalf of your family business? Have you hosted a Ministerial visit? Then you need to know about these new rules introduced by the Scottish Government.
In just under a month, the new Scottish Lobbying Register comes in to force, and at the IFB we have been working to ensure we comply with the new legislation.
From 12th March 2018 if you lobby MSPs, members of the Scottish Government, Special Advisers or Permanent Secretaries face-to-face you may have to declare your meeting on the Lobbying Register.
If you are speaking to relevant individuals about Scottish Government or Parliamentary functions you should check whether you need to declare your conversations. There are a number of exemptions to the Act which might apply to you, for example if you are acting on your own behalf or have been asked to appear before a Committee. You can find a checklist of the exemptions here.
The Act covers a wide range of contact, not just meetings in Parliament. For example if you are paid by your family business and sat next to a politician at a dinner, then you may need to disclose your discussion if it covered issues related to your company that fall within the competency of the Scottish Parliament or Government. Or if you host a visit from an MSP or Minister at your site, your discussion may be considered ‘regulated lobbying’.
Whilst there are exemptions, it is likely that if you have contact with politicians in Scotland then some of your contact will need to be declared. The Scottish Parliament has produced some useful FAQs (here) and a comprehensive set of common scenarios (here) that might be useful.
Fiona Graham is Director of Public Affairs and Policy and the IFB. If you would like to find out more about the new Scottish Lobbying Register or any of our advocacy work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.