Directorate for Public Governance

Lobbyists, Governments and Public Trust: Building a Legislative Framework for Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Lobbying


Executive summary


Lobbying is a worldwide practice that can provide policy makers with invaluable insight and data for more informed decision making.  However, lobbying is often perceived negatively, as giving special advantages to vocal vested interests.  Concerns that negotiations carried out behind closed doors could override the interests of the whole community push lobbying to the political agenda in many societies.
This report reviews existing legislation and regulations on lobbying in OECD countries, shedding light on the 'mystery' of lobbying and mapping out current approaches, models, trends and ‘state of the art’ solutions.
The OECD’s findings will support informed policy debate in countries where lobbying reaches the political agenda, and will contribute to a deeper understanding of the potential and limitations of existing legislation and regulations.  In addition, the report identifies “building blocks”, based on acknowledged good practices, for developing a legal framework for lobbying that meets public expectations for transparency, accountability and integrity.
Experience shows that legislation and regulations on lobbying have developed incrementally as part of political learning process. It is thus vital that governments seeking to develop a legal framework take into account the socio-political and administrative context.  Consequently, the report also highlights the evolution of legislations on lobbying and provides insight on its’ implementation and impact.

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