Revolving door (politics)
In politics, the "revolving door" is the movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators and the industries affected by the legislation and regulation.[note 1]
In some cases the roles are performed in sequence but in certain circumstances may be performed at the same time. Political analysts claim that an unhealthy relationship can develop between the private sector and government, based on the granting of reciprocated privileges to the detriment of the nation and can lead to regulatory capture.
Governments hire industry professionals for their private sector experience, their influence within corporations that the government is attempting to regulate or do business with, and in order to gain political support (donations and endorsements) from private firms.
Industry, in turn, hires people out of government positions to gain personal access to government officials, seek favorable legislation/regulation and government contracts in exchange for high-paying employment offers, and get inside information on what is going on in government.
The lobbying industry is especially affected by the revolving door concept, as the main asset for a lobbyist is contacts with and influence on government officials. This industrial climate is attractive for ex-government officials. It can also mean substantial monetary rewards for the lobbying firms and government projects and contracts in the hundreds of millions for those they represent.
Regulation relating to this phenomenon and the related issues of lobbying and the funding of political parties varies considerably around the world. Here are details for a few sample jurisdiction:-
In Australia, this is of significant public debate as many state leaders have become private consultants for corporations. There is no legislation against this revolving door in Australia.
A law in the penal code of France governing public officials who move between the public and private sectors requires a three-year wait between working in the government and taking a job in the private sector.
The institutionalized practice of placing retiring bureaucrats into senior positions of industries they once regulated, known as Amakudari, has increasingly been recognized for its corrupting influence on government. In April 2007, a law to phase out Amakudari will prohibit ministries from attempting to place bureaucrats in industry in 2009. However, the law also removed a two-year ban that prevented retiring officials from taking jobs with companies they had official dealings with during the five years prior to retirement.
United Kingdom 
The movement of senior civil servants and government ministers into business roles is overseen by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), but this is not a statutory body and has only advisory powers. The Channel Four Dispatches programme 'Cabs for Hire', broadcast in early 2010, which showed several sitting members of Parliament and former ministers offering their influence and contacts in an effort to get lobbying jobs, has generated renewed concern about this issue. A Transparency International UK report on the subject, published in May 2011, called for ACOBA to be replaced by a statutory body with greater powers to regulate the post-public employment of former ministers and crown servants. It also argued that the Committee should be more representative of society.
United States 
"Under current law, government officials who make contracting decisions must either wait a year before joining a military contractor or, if they want to switch immediately, must start in an affiliate or division unrelated to their government work. One big loophole is that these restrictions do not apply to many high-level policy makers..., who can join corporations or their boards without waiting." 
Examples of individuals who have moved between roles in this way in sensitive areas include Dick Cheney (military contracting), Linda Fisher (pesticide and biotech), Philip Perry (homeland security), Pat Toomey, Dan Coats,[dead link] and former FCC commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker (media lobbying). High-profile U.S. Representative Democratic Dick Gephardt left his congressional post to become a lobbyist and his lobbying agency Gephardt Government Affairs Group earned close to $7 million in revenues in 2010 from clients including Goldman Sachs, Boeing, Visa Inc., Ameren Corporation, and Waste Management Inc..
See also 
- Interlocking directorate
- Military industrial complex
- Goldman Sachs' revolving door
- It also includes the movement of government personnel into lobbying firms working for these industries.
- Timothy J. Burger, "The Lobbying Game: Why the Revolving Door Won't Close" Time (February 16, 2006). Retrieved May 12, 2011
- "Revolving Door: Methodology" Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved May 12, 2011
- "Article 432-13 du code pénal" Légifrance, service public de la diffusion du droit. Retrieved March 6, 2011 (French)
- 'Cabs for Hire? Fixing the Revolving Door Between Government and Business' Transparency International UK (May 2011), p. 6. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- Leslie Wayne, Pentagon Brass and Military Contractors' Gold" The New York Times (June 29, 2004). Retrieved 2008-01-03
- Robert Bryce, "Cheney's Multi-Million Dollar Revolving Door" Mother Jones (2000-08-02). Retrieved December 13, 2008
- Pat Toomey's employment history Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved May 12, 2011
- Matthew Tully, "Revolving door should be closed on Dan Coats" Indianapolis Star (October 22, 2010)
- Edward Wyatt, "F.C.C. Commissioner Leaving to Join Comcast" The New York Times (May 11, 2011). Retrieved May 12, 2011
- Meredith Atwell Baker's employment history Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved May 12, 2011
- THOMAS B. EDSALL (2011). "The Trouble With That Revolving Door". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
- Revolving Door database at Opensecrets.org searchable database
- Revolving Doors in the UK Defence Industry UNICORN article - www.againstcorruption.org/
- Revolving door between the US Government and Industry Government officials who now work at IFPMA, PhRMA, or law firms and lobbying firms that represent the pharmaceutical industry
- Revolving Door at Project on Government Oversight
- Revolving Door Congress Members data from First Street