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Good news from BIS on anti-lobbying clause

19 Apr 2016

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have today confirmed intention to exclude core research funders from the scope of a new anti-lobbying clause in government grants.

In a response to a statement in the House of Lords on the clause today, the Science Minister confirmed the department’s intention that Research Councils, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the National Academies will not be covered by the clause. The department will outline more detail by 1st May, the deadline for when the clause must be inserted into all new and renewed grants.

Commenting on the announcement CaSE Director Dr Sarah Main said:

“This is good news and a huge step in the right direction. Scientists felt embroiled in a debate about lobbying which did not appear to apply to them. The Science Minister, Jo Johnson, and many across government have done a huge amount to make the case that it does not. The message is loud and clear that science is a welcome and necessary part of Parliamentary debate and policy-making. We trust that all ministers will take Jo Johnson’s lead to ensure that researchers funded by any department can freely engage with Parliament.”

“We now need to get the detail right to make sure this solution works for all of government and all of science.”

CaSE has been working closely with government officials and others in the sector over the last few months to help resolve the situation. You can read our latest update from a few weeks ago here.

We will continue this work up to 1st May, and beyond, to help ensure the use of research findings in government policy-making.