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Should we do a "Transparency Policy" page, showing the govts' disinclination to push this?

Why Transparency Matters, see Publish What You Fund who have an article on this. Bottom line: Transparency is the foundation of Trust.

The vision in which international competitiveness is the primary objective and industry is seen as the natural primary stakeholder, is fundamentally at odds with democratic concepts, where decision-making is shaped and controlled by citizens and elected representatives. Corporate Europe Observatory

European Public Affairs Consultancies Association (EPACA) describes itself as "the representative trade body for public affairs consultancies working with EU institutions."

The Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP) says it aims to "represent all those individuals active in European affairs"

European Transparency Initiative (ETI)

  • The first ever official review of EU lobbying issues, which included inviting stakeholders to express their opinion. The online stakeholder consultation held in the summer of 2006 not only showed very widespread concerns but also broad support - far beyond the ALTER-EU coalition - for mandatory lobby disclosure and other serious measures to address these concerns.


  • A series of small but serious scandals... one example was Weber Shandwick's launch of the group Cancer United, which lobbied on cancer treatment issues. A number of public interest organisations signed up to the group before news eventually leaked that Cancer United was solely funded by Roche, a pharmaceutical company producing cancer drugs.
  • The high profile revolving doors scandal of Germany's former chancellor Gerhard Schroder taking up a position with GazProm straight after leaving office.
  • Burson-Marsteller's pharma lobbyist David Earnshaw was accused of having a conflict of interests in taking up a post as an external medical therapies adviser to a powerful European parliament committee.

Affiliated Organisations

Corporate Transparency

Media Transparency


Non-Governmental Organizations


Govt Policy / Political Transparency

Land Ownership

Land ownership in England & Wales is already incredibly opaque. The government only released this INSPIRE data because of a European directive, which it tried to oppose. Does anyone seriously imagine that transparency over land in Britain will increase after privatisation? ref

  • Jul.27.2006: UK fights against tide on data directive. A Europe-wide project to harmonise access to geographical data is at risk due to Britain's support for state-owned agencies. Britain is threatening to kill at birth a project to simplify access to data crucial to the protection of Europe's land, air and water - unless it is modified to protect the interests of state-owned mapping agencies. Inspire (INfrastructure for SPatial Information in EuRope) (, a European directive, seeks to end the situation in which neighbouring countries cannot make plans to deal with common issues because their national geographical databases do not line up. These differences can be as basic as the height of sea level. Inspire seeks to end such anomalies. It will require public bodies to make their "spatial information services" understandable and accessible among tiers of government and across national boundaries. But making geographical data freely available would destroy the business model of agencies such as Ordnance Survey, which funds activities by making a "profit" on sales of maps and geographical data. The OS warns of the threat in its latest annual report, published on Tuesday. The government said this week it would support OS's right to set charges. Its position, which it claims has the backing of member states in the council of ministers, will lead to a clash with the European commission and parliament when the process of turning Inspire into law reaches its climax this autumn. Failure to agree could kill the whole initiative. You will recognise a theme: the inevitable conflicts that arise when public bodies try to earn money from information resources gathered at public expense or with public resources. The UK is unusually committed to charging users for data rather than funding its dissemination from taxation. Lobbying - through EuroGeographics, which represents mapping agencies - stepped up when the parliament's environment committee proposed amending the previously agreed directive to free up access to data. Eventually, Inspire became an EU Directive, and was passed into British law between Dec.2009-Nov.2012 (was it ever fully inplemented?) ref. Michael Cross, The Guardian. See also INSPIREWikipedia-W.svg, and "Free Our Data" Guardian campaign (2006).

Public Servants

  • Jun.01.2018: £51m spent on transport worker payoffs. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched a review of staff severance pay yesterday after it emerged that transport employees received a record £51.4m in “golden goodbye” payments last year. Mr Khan insisted that Transport for London (TfL), which runs the Tube, bus and rail network in the capital, had made “huge strides” in cutting costs over the past year. The highest earner was Andrew Wolstenholme, who received £736,157 when he quit as chief executive of Crossrail. Leon Daniels, TfL’s former head of surface transport, earned £641,480 including £444,598 “compensation for loss of office” when he left the organisation in Dec.2017. Graeme Paton, The Times.
  • Jun.01.2018: Met refuses to disclose expenses in Operation Midland abuse inquiry. Scotland Yard has cited risks to international relations to avoid disclosing the expenses of officers who travelled to Australia during the investigation of an alleged VIP sexual abuse ring. The force refused to release an overall cost or expenses such as hotel bills incurred by officers when they made the trip during the discredited Operation Midland. The Metropolitan Police took nearly two years fully to reject the freedom of information request by The Times. Fiona Hamilton, The Times.
  • Jun.01.2018: Wrong Haul When police spend money, it is taxpayers’ money. They have a moral duty to be able to account for it, not to mention a legal duty enshrined in the Freedom of Information Act. These are two reasons why, for two years, The Times has been seeking to obtain from the Metropolitan Police details of the cost of a trip to Australia by officers working on Operation Midland, an investigation into alleged historical child sex abuse. There is a third reason. The purpose of the trip is thought to have been to confirm that a purported murder victim was not in fact dead, a piece of information that the BBC’s Panorama programme was able to establish with a single phone call. ... Leader, The Times.


  • Jul.16.2018: New Report: How Has Think Tank Transparency Evolved in 2018? Think tank financial transparency is becoming the norm across the globe: while in 2013 when Transparify carried out its baseline, 25 organizations were transparent, 92 are in 2018. This represents clear progress towards transparency, as highlighted in Transparify’s 2018 report released today. Transparify.
  • Mar.16.2018: UK defends secrecy deals for firms involved in border consultations. The govt has defended asking businesses to sign non-disclosure agreements in private discussions about the UK’s future border arrangements with the EU, which reportedly include laying out scenarios for a no-deal Brexit. Companies and industry groups are reported to have been asked to sign NDAs during private discussions with the govt, held in order to give officials clearer data on what is being transported over the border, as well as to ask for their response to possible future post-Brexit scenarios, including no deal with the EU. The NDAs have not been confined to haulage companies and trade industry bodies, but applied across other industries that could be affected by Brexit. Labour MP Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which has been highly critical of the preparation for border crossings, said the agreements were unusual and normally only used with commercial contracts, not in consultations with stakeholders. HMRC also insisted the agreements were standard practice, and that they protected commercially sensitive information provided by operators, but Hillier said they "shackle organisations that might want to criticise or comment on Brexit". Jessica Elgot, The Guardian.
  • Mar.02.2017: Think tanks, evidence and policy: democratic players or clandestine lobbyists? Depending on your perspective, think tanks either enrich the democratic space by conducting policy research and facilitating public dialogue and debate, or undermine democracy by pushing policies favoured by powerful corporate interests. Till Bruckner explains how Transparify are contributing to debate about think tanks’ role in evidence-based policymaking by assessing their levels of financial transparency. The Transparify report, released today, enables citizens, researchers, journalists, and decision-makers to distinguish between legitimate policy voices and questionable sources of ‘expertise’. Till Bruckner, Transparify.
  • Mar.2007: Hired-gun lobbyists in last-ditch battle against EU transparency plans. On Mar.21.2007, the European Commission announced its conclusions from 2 years of discussion on regulating EU lobbying in the context of the European Transparency Initiative (ETI). EU Commissioner Siim Kallas warned the lack of transparency could undermine the legitimacy of EU decision-making process. Kallas dismissed the voluntary codes of conduct administered by Brussels-based corporate lobby associations SEAP and EPACA as ineffective and un-transparent. The register, which will be launched in spring of 2008, will be voluntary for lobbyists to join. Despite the choice to start with a voluntary register, the commercial lobbyists' associations have responded with fury to the Commission's proposal. EPACA and its sister organisation SEAP have over the last few months launched a high-profile counter-campaign against the Commission plans. EPACA and SEAP represent a large number of Brussels-based lobby consultancy firms, which employ professional lobbyists that work mainly for industry clients ("hired-gun lobbyists"). Around 1996/97, SEAP and a second lobby consultancy coalition - later re-launched as EPACA - were established with the purpose of preventing the introduction of transparency and ethics rules around EU lobbying. A major obstacle to deeper democratic change is the 'what's-good-for big-business-is-good-for Europe' ideology that is still firmly entrenched and shaping many EU policy initiatives. A telling example is the response by EU research Commissioner Janez Potocnik to CEO's Jun.2007 complaint about the role of industry in the Commission's decision-making process in the field of agrofuels. Potocnik made no attempt to deny that industry-dominated advisory bodies such as BIOFRAC and the European Biofuel Technology Platform have been enormously influential, but instead defended this as an achievement. Corporate Europe Observatory.