Lobbying consultancies have always been able to choose whether or not they reveal their clients to the public. Many are happy to reveal those details (via the APPC register), but a significant number get away with refusing to reveal who pays their bills.
Now, that looks set to change.
The Government has dithered and so far failed to say where it stands on the issue of transparency in lobbying. The Conservatives have already said they will clamp down on lobbying by public sector bodies. In a significant development, they are now briefing that they want public affairs firms to publish all client lists and their full-time and part-time staff.
According to Tory sources, if this is not undertaken across the public affairs industry by a process of self-regulation, then the industry runs risk of incurring full weight of law to make it happen.
More details soon on the PRWeek website…