The Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) have welcomed the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPOC) Code of Conduct for Persons Carrying on Lobbying Activities launched today. Both representative bodies made detailed submissions during the public consultation period on the Code this summer.

The Code comes into effect on 1 January 2019 and will be reviewed every three years, in keeping with scheduled statutory reviews of the Act, the first of which takes place in 2019.

Previously, SIPOC Head of Ethics and Lobbying Regulation, Sherry Perreault has complimented the engagement with the legislation shown by PRII and PRCA members, saying their lobbying returns were often exemplary, with the correct amount and type of information included. Ms. Perreault also acknowledged PRII members’ adherence to the Institute’s own Code of Professional Practice in Public Affairs & Lobbying and that PRCA members subscribe the ICCO Code of Stockholm and the ICCO Helsinki Declaration.

Dr Martina Byrne, CEO, PRII and PRCA says: “The PRII and PRCA welcome the work undertaken by the regulator on this Code of Conduct, primarily as it presents another opportunity for SIPOC to reiterate that no profession or sector is exempt from the Regulation of Lobbying Act (2015) regardless of size, form, or geographic location. While communications professionals, including PRII and PRCA members, have engaged with the legislation, register and returns other sectors have not engaged to the same extent”.

“Since 2003, the PRII membership has had its own Code of Professional Practice for Public Affairs and Lobbying and this was updated with the introduction of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015. PRCA members subscribe to the ICCO Code of Stockholm and the ICCO Helsinki Declaration,” said Martina Byrne, “and we are pleased to see that the PRII Code was used as reference material in drawing up the SIPOC Code”.