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Lobbying Bill will have implications for Irish planning consultancies

Words: Roger Milne

The Irish government has published legislation designed to establish a web-based register of lobbying activity and provide transparency on who is contacting whom about what.

The Registration of Lobbying Bill will cover anyone who makes any relevant communications about the development or zoning of land under the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2014, including those paid by a client to lobby on the client's behalf.

It is assumed that planning consultants (as well as other professions who engage in such submissions) will likely have to register on the lobbying register as its stands. Once registered, the lobbyist will have to make a return of their lobbying activities three times a year.

Those on the receiving end of lobbying are listed as
• Ministers and ministers of state
• Members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann
• Members of the European Parliament for constituencies in the state
• Members of local authorities
• Special advisers
• Public servants as prescribed (initially this will be Secretaries General and Assistant Secretaries in the Civil Service and equivalent grades in local authorities).