Report: Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018

November 2018

A new index of 104 multi-national companies, many of whom regularly meet with Government, has found nearly three quarters are failing to adequately disclose how they engage with politicians. Just one company received the highest grade whilst on average companies were ranked “E” – representing poor standards in transparency.

Launched by the UK national chapter of Transparency International, the 2018 Corporate Political Engagement Index assesses businesses on how transparent they are in their political engagement – this includes key areas such as donations to political parties, lobbying of those in power, the revolving door, public commitment to ethical behaviour and the overall transparency of this information.

It is concerning that almost four out of five companies were found to have poor standards in disclosing their lobbying and nearly all ranked poorly for controls on the revolving door. Companies generally scored better for their controls on political donations with 60 per cent achieving at least a C grade.

The index is the culmination of a nine-month process in which all assessed companies were invited to submit evidence. During this period almost a third of companies actively strengthened their political engagement policies and another 17 per cent pledged to do so.