21 December 2017

The Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 comes into full force in March 2018

The Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 is an Act of the Scottish Parliament which creates a Lobbying Register and introduces new duties to register lobbying activity.

On Monday 12 March 2018, the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 will fully come into force. On that date the duties to provide information to the Lobbying Registrar take effect and new criminal offences relating to failures to provide information also come into play.

Key points to be aware are:

• The 2016 Act is concerned with face to face communications (including video conferencing and Skype) with Members of the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government Ministers, special advisers and the permanent secretary to the Scottish Government
• A communication may be ‘regulated lobbying’ even if it is very informal – it can include conversations at parliamentary receptions, at conferences or trade events or even in the street.
• A return has to be made on a six monthly basis to the Lobbying Registrar setting out each occasion that you or your organisation engaged in regulated lobbying

More information and guidance is available from the Scottish Parliament’s Lobbying Registrar’s team.