ALTER-EU alert sent to Transparency register secretariat in May 2015, and reply received in November 2015
Dear Transparency register secretariat
ALTER-EU sends you this alert concerning entries in the lobby transparency register which we consider could be problematic, or organisations which we consider should be in the register but are not. In particular, we direct your attention to the following:
The following are not in the lobby register and in ALTER-EU's view should be: City of London Corporation, Standard & Poors, Swiss Bankers Association, European Banking Industry Committee, EUTOP International, Ketchum, Eacon Group, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells, Clifford Chance, Dentons, Field Fisher Waterhouse, White & Case, Electrabel, Anglo-American, Ajinomoto, Northrop Grumman, and Maersk.
The following seem to now be missing from the register, yet previously declared high lobby expenditure or turnover: Bird & Bird, Forum Public Affairs, MHP Communications, Policy Exchange.
For the following entries, it is difficult to reconcile their financial declarations with other evidence available, and/ or their previous entries, and/ or their own client lists: PACT European Affairs, Mayer Brown Europe-Brussels, Bloomberg, Engie (formerly called GDF Suez), Cuadrilla Resources, Beiten Burkhardt.
In ALTER-EU's view, EU lobbying law firms remain mostly absent from the lobby register. Furthermore, at least 25of the 88 registered declare a lobby turnover but do not disclose their clients fully. Of these, threewrite that their clients are confidential (one claiming they are natural persons) while10 give unclear explanations of their clients. Sometimes the law firms describe what they are doing instead of who their clients are, or just provide general descriptions of clients rather than specific names. Five only list some of their clients (as the numbers do not add up), one uses an unexplained acronym, and seven give a lobby turnover but then complete the field "own activities, no clients" with "none" or a "-", which is contradictory.
We notice further outdated financial data in the lobby register, and some massively so: Association des couples multiethniques de France reports data from 2003; Michel Abdelahad reports data from 2005; DIERREPI CONSULTING di Dom Rosario Poidimani reports data from 2007; Lucian Buzea reports data from 2008; PLATAFORMA DE ONG DE ACCION SOCIAL reports data from 2009. A further 28 organisations report financial lobby data from 2010; 85 from 2011; and 293 organisations from 2012. A full list is attached.
We notice further strange-looking entries: Nederlandse Belangenvereniging Draadloze Audio verbindingen PMSEand Triodos Bank.
Additionally, we have found 67 accredited lobbyists listed on the website of the register that were listed as accredited on behalf of 44 organisations that are no longer on the register, presumably having been suspended after failing to update their lobby register entry before the deadline of 27 April.
This is not an exhaustive list; further information is available in ALTER-EU's recent blog and report.
I would be grateful if you could please let us know how you will take these findings forward.
ALTER-EU Coalition and Outreach Coordinator