NCVO to publish details of spending on lobbying and meetings with ministers

Sir Stuart Etherington, its chief executive, says the sector should set the 'gold standard' on transparency about lobbying

National Council for Voluntary Organisations
National Council for Voluntary Organisations

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations will publish details of how much it spends on lobbying and the meetings it holds with ministers as part of plans to make the voluntary sector more transparent.

Speaking at the NCVO’s Evolve conference in London yesterday, Sir Stuart Etherington, its chief executive, said he wanted the voluntary sector to set the "gold standard" on transparency for lobbying.

"The Public Administration Select Committee this month proposed that charities should publish details of the resources they devote to campaigning and lobbying," he said.

"I don’t wish charities to be subject to burdensome regulation, but I do believe we should be leading the way on transparency. In fact, I think we should be the gold standard.

"We will set the example by publishing just such information, along with details of the ministers we meet."

Etherington said he was looking forward to seeing the government’s forthcoming bill on transparency in lobbying.

"Previous proposals have been difficult, variously casting the net too wide or contributing too little to transparency," he said.

"But I’m clear on the principle: I would be proud to sign a register of lobbyists that shows that I lobby the government on behalf of volunteering and civil society."

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