Home > Lobbying > Departments disclose lists of ministerial meetings

Departments disclose lists of ministerial meetings

In October last year, the government committed itself to publishing a list of ministerial meetings with outside interest groups on a quarterly basis. A number of departments have now posted the lists for meetings taking place between October-December 2009. Some are not that easy to find on the websites, so I have collated a number of them here:

Business Innovation and Skills

Department of Health

Ministry of Justice

Home Office

Foreign Office

Department of Transport

Department for Schools, Children and Families

Department for Communities and Local Government

The Treasury

Northern Ireland Office

While I can’t find the quarterly reports for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, details of ministerial meetings are often listed under FoI requests, here.

If you take a look at the links, then you will be surprised that some ministers had remarkably few meetings with outside groups over 3 months. This begs the question of what constitutes a ‘meeting’ for the purpose of the register and how ‘outside interest groups’ are defined. Don’t get me wrong, the publication of this information is important, but it does show the limits of transparency schemes. A lobbying register is being put forward as a remedy for the current MPs for hire controversy (see the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency for the some of the arguments) – but the information provided under such schemes is often limited. If a statutory register is going to help, then it will have to be clear on the level of detail required to be disclosed .

There are a number of departments where I cannot find the quarterly report (or where it has not been posted). If anyone has more success, let me know. The departments are:

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Department for International Development

Ministry of Defence

Department of Work and Pensions

Department of Energy and Climate Change


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