SCVO media release
6 February 2015
For immediate release

Following the publication of the Scottish Parliament’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments (SPPA) Committee’s report on a register of lobbying, John Downie, Director of Public Affairs, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

“The starting point of this proposal is fundamentally flawed. It’s based on a warped view that lack of political engagement is due to the public’s perception of external lobbyists wielding influence over MSPs rather than the self-interested politicking between politicians themselves.

It’s simply wrong that the onus is on lobbyists to ensure transparency when responsibility should lie firmly with the people being lobbied. This really is the wrong call and it fails to set out what exactly would even fall under the category of ‘significant’ lobbying activity covered by the proposed register.

“We’d welcome any move which would actually increase the transparency of the Scottish Parliament but these proposals fall far the mark. If we really want to bring about better transparency, MSPs should publish their diaries and the MSPs’ Code of Conduct should be strengthened.

“We strongly oppose any barriers, like this register, which would threaten the free flow of information and ideas between third sector organisations and the Scottish Parliament, and ultimately make it harder for the best interests of vulnerable people to shape public policy in Scotland.”

ENDS

  1. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the national body representing the interests of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The Scottish third sector turns over £4.9 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations.
  2. John Downie, Director of Public Affairs, SCVO is available for interview and further comment, please call Charlotte McNeill, Press Officer, SCVO on 0779 060 1995