Section 6: Lobbying and Access to Members of Public Bodies
6.1 In order for the public body to fulfil its commitment to being open and accessible, it needs to encourage participation by organisations and individuals in the decision-making process. Clearly however, the desire to involve the public and other interest groups in the decision-making process must take account of the need to ensure transparency and probity in the way in which the public body conducts its business.
6.2 You will need to be able to consider evidence and arguments advanced by a wide range of organisations and individuals in order to perform your duties effectively. Some of these organisations and individuals will make their views known directly to individual members. The rules in this Model Code set out how you should conduct yourself in your contacts with those who would seek to influence you. They are designed to encourage proper interaction between members of public bodies, those they represent and interest groups.
Rules and Guidance
6.3 You must not, in relation to contact with any person or organisation that lobbies do anything which contravenes this Model Code or any other relevant rule of the public body or any statutory provision.
6.4 You must not, in relation to contact with any person or organisation who lobbies, act in any way which could bring discredit upon the public body.
6.5 The public must be assured that no person or organisation will gain better access to or treatment by, you as a result of employing a company or individual to lobby on a fee basis on their behalf. You must not, therefore, offer or accord any preferential access or treatment to those lobbying on a fee basis on behalf of clients compared with that which you accord any other person or organisation who lobbies or approaches you. Nor should those lobbying on a fee basis on behalf of clients be given to understand that preferential access or treatment, compared to that accorded to any other person or organisation, might be forthcoming from another member of the public body.
6.6 Before taking any action as a result of being lobbied, you should seek to satisfy yourself about the identity of the person or organisation that is lobbying and the motive for lobbying. You may choose to act in response to a person or organisation lobbying on a fee basis on behalf of clients but it is important that you know the basis on which you are being lobbied in order to ensure that any action taken in connection with the lobbyist complies with the standards set out in this Model Code.
6.7 You should not accept any paid work:-
(a) which would involve you lobbying on behalf of any person or organisation or any clients of a person or organisation.
(b) to provide services as a strategist, adviser or consultant, for example, advising on how to influence the public body and its members. This does not prohibit you from being remunerated for activity which may arise because of, or relate to, membership of the public body, such as journalism or broadcasting, or involvement in representative or presentational work, such as participation in delegations, conferences or other events.
6.8 If you have concerns about the approach or methods used by any person or organisation in their contacts with you, you must seek the guidance of the public body.