About Us

Public affairs professionals established the Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group in 1999 to raise the standards and enhance the reputation of public affairs locally.

Members come from a wide range of backgrounds – commercial public affairs and PR companies, the voluntary sector, education, trade associations, business public affairs and lobbying activities on behalf of local interest groups are undertaken professionally and responsibly.

The Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group aims to:

  • Provide members with regular opportunities to hear and discuss views and case histories with
    relevant speakers;
  • Respond to or initiate statements on policy issues affecting the conduct of public affairs; and
  • Take opportunities to encourage and facilitate educational activities for members and aspiring
    practitioners.

NIGAG’s members believe that the lobbying of politicians and governmental institutions is an entirely proper and legitimate activity in itself. It occurs in all free and democratic societies, and is indeed a fundamental democratic right. Lobbying fulfils a number of highly proper functions:

  • Lobbyists act as a bridge between policy makers and wider civil society. They ensure that politicians
    and civil servants are aware of the needs, desires and interests of particular groups of people or
    organisations; or alternatively that they can play a part in ensuring that the interests of specialised
    and homogenous groups are represented;
  • Lobbyists enable interest groups and sections of the electorate to participate in the political process
    beyond casting votes at elections, ensuring decision makers remain responsive to public opinion
    between elections; and
  • Lobbyists assist public office holders to find solutions to specific policy problems or issues, thus improving the quality of our government.

 

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