Knesset lobbyists publish their first ethical code (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV 05/14/12)
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Knesset lobbyists published an ethical code for the first time on
Sunday, following a wave of negative publicity about their profession.
The Forum for Government Connections, which consists of most Israeli
lobbying firms, released the list of rules after a series of meetings
in which lobbyists discussed the proper way to work with elected
officials and government bureaucrats.
In February, Channel 2 investigative program Uvda broadcast a report
which used hidden cameras to expose employees of Gilad Lobbying
bragging about manipulating MKs and the Knesset Center for Research
and Information in order to increase their clients’ revenues.
The new ethical code was based on those of the Association of
Accredited Lobbyists to the European Union and the American League of
Lobbyists, two of the strictest lobbying groups in the world,
according to the Forum.
According to the code´s introduction, its goal is to "increase the
public´s faith in the profession and the democratic process."
Gilad Lobbying was not included in the process of writing the new
"The ethical code was written due to the need to establish moral
criteria for the profession, as well as a way of increasing
transparency in our work," Behira Bardugo, one of the Forum´s
Bardugo called for wiping out "black lobbying," her term for those
who work in "dark hallways of the Knesset" without following any
The ethical code forbids lobbyists from offering or giving
compensation or other benefits to elected officials or bureaucrats,
nor may they work directly or indirectly for them or their parties.
In addition, lobbyists may not demand MKs, ministers or others to
commit to voting or acting a certain way.
Lobbyists are not required to publicize meetings with MKs, though the
code does demand transparency in their work. They must reveal the
name of their customers.
Former MKs and ministers that became lobbyists "may not misuse their
knowledge or connections gained in public service," and should not be
involved in issues connected to their previous, public role unless at
least one year has passed. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/14/12)
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