Policy summaries

Lobbying and political support
We engage with governments and policy makers in all our markets.
We seek to inform them about our business; to influence public policy on issues related to our business; and to promote BAE Systems’ solutions for national defence and security requirements. Some stakeholders are concerned that big businesses may exert undue influence over governments and decision-makers. We aim to be open about our lobbying activities to address this concern.

We lobby on issues specifically relevant to our business and the defence and security industry, either directly or through trade associations such as Aerospace, Defence and Security in the UK and the US Aerospace Industries Association. Like all industries, we also take an active interest in, and seek to influence, the development of regulations and legislation that may affect the general business environment. For example, we are in regular contact with governments and legislators about tax provisions which affect BAE Systems’ business (such as those relating to research and development credits), and about employment laws or other policies (such as immigration or foreign direct investment) which might affect our ability to pursue our business objectives.

In the defence and security industry, acquisition decisions are made by governments, and their agencies, who are the direct customers for our products and services. For this reason, we consider lobbying to include business development activities, which seek to demonstrate why our solution is the right one. This means that our lobbying activities include informing politicians or government officials about our products and services, or advocating solutions to programmes that are important to our customers and end users in the armed forces and other government organisations. More broadly, we aim to ensure our position is understood in government defence and security reviews, or in consultations about the future of the industry and related matters such as acquisition reform.

Most of our lobbying activity is carried out by BAE Systems employees, but we also employ third parties to lobby on our behalf in both our domestic and export markets. Their appointment is governed by our Advisers Policy (see advisers ), with the exception of certain domestic lobbyists in the US whose appointment is subject to separate legislative controls. We require all external lobbyists to carry out their business on our behalf in accordance with the company’s lobbying and political support policy.
Anyone interacting with governments on behalf of BAE Systems – from within or outside the company - must comply with our policy. They must behave in accordance with our Code of Conduct , act with honesty and integrity, and ensure the information they provide in their lobbying activities is factually correct and fairly represented. The emphasis is on openness and transparency in our dealings with governments.
Lobbying is included in our Code of Conduct which all employees must be familiar with. As part of our Operational Framework, line leaders are responsible for ensuring that anyone engaged in lobbying activities is briefed on and complies with the Code of Conduct.

Lobbying activity must also comply with our policy on lobbying, political donations and other political activity and with any national legislative or regulatory requirements in each market. The policy requires all lobbying activity undertaken at the political level to be recorded. In the US the recording of lobbying is subject to federal law - the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). Under this law, organisations employing persons who spend more than 20% of their time on lobbying activities are required to register with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate.

Our Operational Framework requires the Group Business Development Director to ensure that an annual report on the company’s lobbying activity is made to the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Board.
We do not make corporate contributions or donations to political parties. Nor do we engage in activity which favours one political party or group over another.

In the US, the BAE Systems USA Political Action Committee (PAC) enables employees to make bi-partisan contributions to candidates for Congressional seats and to party organisations that support Congressional races. Eligible employees can voluntarily choose to contribute to the PAC, which is managed in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Election Commission.