Lobbying plea

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THE pursuit of a more transparent and accountable political system in Scotland is worthy of support but legislation is not required to achieve this (your report, 14 June). The responsibility for upholding the integrity of politics in Scotland lies with our elected officials, who can promote transparency by agreeing to publish their diaries (as they currently publish their expenses). This would have the same effect as the proposals laid out by Neil Findlay MSP’s draft bill, but with a much smaller burden on the public purse compared with creating a lobbying register.

However, any legislation should consider the obligations of elected members to act in good faith and not create any barriers to the work of third sector organisations which represent some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland. Our aims are intrinsically different from those of private companies.

The Scottish Parliament is founded on principles of openness and access for all and any attempts to infringe on this will lead to a public policy debate which discriminates between the haves and the have-nots.

Ruchir Shah

Policy manager

Scottish Council for 
Voluntary Organisations