Code of Ethics of the French Association of Lobbying Consultants
Article 1: Definition
Lobbying and public affairs aim to represent, along with actors in public decision-making, the interests of a company, a professional organisation, an association or public body via sharing of conflicting and balanced information.
Lobbying and public affairs consulting involves advising businesses, professional organisations, associations and public bodies, and proposes strategic and operational support.
— Exercise of the profession
Article 2: Professional status
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting can be practised either individually, or as a paid employee in a consulting company.
Article 3: Professional integrity
Any penal or civil conviction for actions that run contrary to the highest standards of honour, integrity or ethical behaviour prohibits practice of the profession.
Article 4: Professional incompatibilities
Exercise of the profession of advising lobbying and public affairs is strictly incompatible with: any elective national or European political mandate; and any paid employee in a ministerial cabinet, in parliamentary assemblies or in the civil services.
Article 5: Absence of remuneration of elected representatives and civil servants
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting is prohibited from compensating, permanently or temporarily, and in any form whatsoever, any national elected representative, parliamentary collaborator or member of a ministerial cabinet. Concerning the ad-hoc missions of expert appraisals of representatives of the civil services or the recruitment of former civil servants, the profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting complies with the applicable rules.
Article 6: Obligation of means
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting recommends the strategy and the means necessary to obtain its customers’ objectives. It participates in implementing missions defined along with its customers. It is subject to an obligation of means.
Relations with institutions
— Relations with institutions
Article 7: Contact transparency
Regarding the contacts that it forms with the representatives in the public authorities and the elected representatives, the profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting declares its identity and the interests that it represents.
Article 8: Access to institutions and circulation within them
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting does not require specific or privileged access to the institutions. However, when a voluntary register is implemented by a parliamentary assembly or a national, European or international institution, it complies with the rules of access and circulation set out by this register, whether it is enrolled in it or not.
Article 9: Respect for regulations and codes of conduct
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting respects the internal regulations of the representative assemblies and national, European and international institutions. It also subscribes to the principles of the corresponding codes of conduct when they are put in place, in particular at the National Assembly, the Senate, the European Parliament and the European Commission. It considers the recommendations issued by the Senior Authority for transparency in public life focussing on the relationships of representatives of interests with the actors in public life.
Article 10: Official documents, conferences and clubs
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting respects the rules in effect for obtaining and circulating official documents, and is specifically prohibited from distributing them for profitable purposes. It is also prohibited from organising—within the institutions—symposiums, meetings, clubs and events during which external participants will be invited to intervene subject to a financial contribution. It furthermore prohibits the use for commercial purposes of the aforesaid symposium or club with any official logo or any reference to an institution. It ensures a pluralistic and non-partisan, transparent and equitable approach within the conditions of enrolment in or membership of the symposiums, clubs and events that it organises. It lastly agrees to make public the name of the financial partners of these events, on a Web site or at the place of organisation of these events.
Article 11: Conflicts of interest
In the event of a risk of conflict of interests between its customers who have similar or competing objectives, the profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting must inform them of it.
Article 12: Obligation of confidentiality
Due to the strategic nature of the files processed, the profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting is bound by an obligation of confidentiality, and often by professional secrecy.
Article 13: Respect for good practices, laws and regulations
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting draws the attention of its customer when its objectives or the means envisaged to achieve them, although not contrary to any use or rule, are inappropriate or disproportionate. When they are contrary to good professional practices or to the regulations and laws in effect, it its customers and prohibits them from participating.
Article 14: Integrity of the information conveyed
The profession of lobbying and public affairs consulting agrees to only broadcast or relay information available in the most honest and most rigorous way, on the basis of what companies, professional organisations, associations and public bodies having recourse to its services display.
Article 15: Respect of the Charter and possible sanctions
All members of the AFCL agree to respect the principles set out in this Charter in each of the missions entrusted to them and to have them respected within its consulting company. Any breach of these principles is liable to suspension of membership, declared by the bureau of the AFCL, and even to disbarring from the association, as declared by the General Assembly of the AFCL.