Registrar of Lobbyists Elizabeth Denham has recommended changes to B.C.'s lobbying rules, including a two-year ban on lobbying by all former high-ranking public officials, in a report tabled today in the Legislative Assembly.
The Registrar made a total of 13 recommendations in her report, Lobbying in British Columbia: The Way Forward. The report is the result of an extensive public consultation conducted by the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists about whether B.C. should adopt an ethical code of conduct for lobbyists.
"Over the past six months, my office has met with and heard from a wide range of stakeholder groups, including MLAs, lobbyists, academics and civil society groups. We received many thoughtful and practical suggestions as to how B.C.'s lobbying laws can be improved, which formed the basis of this report and our recommendations for reform," said Denham.
The Registrar found that while a small percentage of lobbyists may behave unethically, those few do not substantiate the need for a standalone code of conduct at this time.
However, the Registrar believes that certain rules of conduct found in other jurisdictions should be written into B.C.'s Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA) - specifically those that enhance transparency, support existing ethical standards for public office holders, minimize undue influence, and strengthen the public decision making process.
The Registrar also found that current lobbying laws obscure transparency by requiring lobbyists to report intended lobbying rather than actual lobbying, and by not requiring lobbyists to identify which high-ranking civil servants they have lobbied.
The Registrar has recommended amendments to the LRA to address these concerns and promote greater transparency in lobbying in B.C.
The full text of the Registrar's report is available at:
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