Every Communication & Institutions assignment meets the highest standards of the profession in terms of commitment, transparency, honesty of information, clarity of roles etc.
Beyond that, the partners of Communication & Institutions have always promoted a demanding code of ethics for its clients, public authorities and the media. Olivier Le Picard is one of the co-founders, the former president and honorary president of the Association of French Consultants in Lobbying – AFCL, and Fabrice Alexandre is currently its General Secretary.
The AFCL code of ethics, whose statutes form the basis of all our assignments, sets several important limits which complement the rules laid down by French and European members of Parliament and current legislation.
Code of Ethics of the Association of
French Consultants in Lobbying and Public Affairs
- Article 1 : Definition
A consultant in lobbying, or lobbyist advises businesses, associations or regional communities on the promotion and defence of their rights and interests to organisations that could take decisions that affect them.
Exercise of the profession
- Article 2 : Professional status
- The profession of public affairs consultant or lobbyist can be exercised either as a professional individual or as an employee within a consultancy.
- Article 3 : Professional integrity
- Any penal or civil conviction for activity that is contrary to the standards of honour, integrity or behaviour bans the exercise of the profession.
- Article 4 : Professional incompatibility
- The exercise of the profession of lobbying consultant is strictly incompatible with:
• any national or European elected political mandate ;
• any paid post within a ministerial cabinet, parliamentary assembly or within public services.
- Article 5 : Remuneration for elected representatives and public servants is forbidden
- A consultant in lobbying and public affairs will abstain from making any payment, be it permanent or temporary, and in whatever form it may take to any national elected representative, parliamentary collaborator or member of a ministerial cabinet. Regarding occasional assignments for representatives of public services or the recruitment of former civil servants, the consultant in lobbying will adhere to the applicable regulations.
- Article 6 : Best endeavours obligation
- A consultant in lobbying recommends the strategy and the means necessary to achieve the objective of his clients. He participates in the setting up of the defined assignments together with his clients. He is subject to a best endeavours obligation.
Relations with institutions
- Article 7 : Transparency in contacts
- In his contacts with representatives of public authorities and elected representatives, the consultant in lobbying will declare his identity and the interests that he represents.
- Article 8 : Access to institutions
- The consultant in lobbying and public affairs does not require particular or privileged access to institutions. However, if he wishes to register on a voluntary list established by a parliamentary assembly or a national, European or international institution he can then benefit from specific access but must fulfil certain obligations set by these assemblies or institutions in exchange.
- Article 9 : Respect of regulations and codes of conduct
- A consultant in lobbying and public affairs will respect the internal regulations of national, European and international representative assemblies. He will also respect the corresponding codes of conduct in place, most especially at the National Assembly, the Senate, the European Parliament and the European Commission.
- Article 10 : Official documents and symposia
- The consultant in lobbying and public affairs will respect the regulations in force for the acquisition and diffusion of official documents and will abstain from distributing them especially for financial gain. He will also abstain from organising symposia, meetings and events within the institutions to which external participants could be invited to take part unless a financial contribution is made.
- Article 11 : Conflict of interest
- In the case of a risk of conflict of interest between his clients over similar or competing objectives, the consultant in lobbying and public affairs undertakes to inform them of this.
- Article 12 : Confidentiality obligation
- Because of the strategic nature of the dossiers, the consultant in lobbying is subject to a confidentiality obligation and sometimes to professional secrecy.
- Article 13 : Respect of best practices, laws and regulations
- The consultant in lobbying and public affairs undertakes to only transmit or pass on the most honest and accurate information available based on the information given to him by the businesses, associations or communities that are making use of his services.
- Article 14 : Integrity of transmitted information
- Le conseil en lobbying et affaires publiques s’engage à ne diffuser ou relayer qu’une information la plus honnête et la plus rigoureuse disponible, sur la base de ce que les entreprises, associations ou collectivités territoriales ayant recours à ses services mettent à sa disposition.
- Article 15 : Respect of the Code and possible sanctions
- Each member of the AFCL undertakes to respect the principles laid down in this Code in each of his assignments and to ensure they are respected within his consultancy. Any failure to respect these principles could lead to the suspension of his membership which would be decided by the AFCL committee, or his expulsion from the association, decided at a General Meeting of the AFCL.