Lobbyists: Expand Oversight of All Advocates in Knesset

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The Ministerial Committee for Legislation considered a law  on Sunday that would constrain the activities of lobbyists and make their activities more transparent.

For its part, meanwhile, the trade group representing the country’s major lobbying firms responded by asking Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to broaden the application of the proposed law to include other professionals who provide advice and represent clients in contacts with the political system − including economic and media advisers, accountants, lawyers, strategy and marketing consultants, party central committee members and organizations that get government funds.

A seal of approval for legislation by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation indicates the coalition’s support for legislation and generally assures its passage in one form or another. Sunday’s lobbying bill was submitted by MK Adi Kol ‏(Yesh Atid‏) and received the support of party colleague Yair Lapid before he was appointed finance minister and Yael German before she became health minister.

As currently drafted, it would require lobbyists to submit periodic reports to the Knesset speaker and expand the scope of the law to include lobbying of cabinet members and the senior staff of government ministries.

It would also impose a waiting period of a year and a half before MKs, cabinet members and senior ministry staff could engage in lobbying after leaving government. 

MK Amir Peretz at a strikingly empty Knesset session called to discuss budget cuts on April 9, 2013. Notably absent was Yair Lapid. Credit: Michal Fattal

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