A law worth lobbying for

News | Vienna Review | November 2011

A draft lobbying law presented by the government was criticised for its loopholes.

Under the law, lobbying firms would have to declare their employees’ names and annual revenue in an official register, but would not have to disclose their clients and objectives.

The rules for public trade associations, such as the chamber of commerce and trade unions, are looser still, requiring only that their number of representatives and estimated lobbying expenses be made public.

Franz Fiedler, president of the Austrian chapter of Transparency International, told Die Presse that the draft failed to "make clearly visible who has been lobbied, and which law bears the handwriting of a lobbying company and the client behind it."

The measure needs a two-thirds majority in parliament to pass, while the Freedom Party (FPÖ) is the only opposition party that has hinted its support to the government.

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