The High Authority for Transparency in Public Life presents a review of the 2021 exercise of interest representatives’ declarations of activities. This report does not take into account the extension of the register, particularly at local level, which took place on 1 July 2022.
Among the 2,476 interest representatives registered in the digital register managed by the High Authority, 2,178 had until 31 March 2022 to declare their interest representation activities carried out in 2021, as well as the resources allocated to these actions. This obligation concerns those with a financial year ending on 31 December 2021. 59% filed within the legal deadline, a result that can be improved but which is higher than in 2020 (50%) and 2019 (34%). After friendly reminders, the filing rate reached 90%, compared to 85% last year.
On 1 May 2022, despite reminders, 220 registered interest representatives had not filed any declarations for the year 2021. They were 279 at the same period last year. The list of interest representatives who have not communicated any of the information required by law for the last financial year is published on the website of the High Authority and automatically updated.
The declarations of interest representatives indicate a slightly higher level of action in 2021 than in 2020. 11,105 interest representation activities were declared, compared with 10,780 the previous year, giving an average of 7.8 activity files per interest representative, compared with 6.9 for 2020. The most declared areas of intervention are the health and medico-social sector, agriculture, care and illness, industrial policy and SMEs.
62.5% of interest representation activities in 2021 mentioned Parliament and 57.5% mentioned Government, which is almost identical to 2020, but less than a third of activities concerned law-making in 2021, compared to 60% in 2020. Within the government, two ministerial departments – economy and finance, environment, energy and sea – concentrate one third of interest representation activities. As in 2020, the two types of organisation reporting the highest average range of interest representation expenses (between €100,000 and €200,000 for the year) are independent consultancies and companies.
In its last activity report, the High Authority formulated several proposals to improve the overall framework for the regulation of interest representation and strengthen its means of control.
They in particular aim to:
- simplify the thresholds triggering a registration obligation, by assessing the minimum threshold of ten actions at the level of the legal person and no longer per individual;
- extend the obligation to declare activities to communications initiated by public officials;
- restrict the scope of public decisions covered;
- give the High Authority a power of communication and provide the presence of judicial police officers in the context of its on-site checks of the declaratory and ethical obligations of interest representatives.
Finally, in line with its commitment to the Open Government Partnership, the High Authority continued to enhance its educational platform dedicated to lobbying hatvp.fr/lobbying in order to make interest representation better known to citizens. Analyses of lobbying related to the so-called 5G law, the Mobility Orientation Law and the AGEC law were published, as well as articles on the lobbying framework in Ireland, the European Union, Quebec and Germany.