Application of the Act - Annual Report 1989-1990

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    For the year ended March 31, 1990.


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    Annual Report [PDF Format, 1 335Kb]

    Table of Content

    1. Purpose and Description of the Act
    2. Start-up Activities
    3. Ongoing Administraction
    4. Statistical Review
    5. Compliance
    6. Information Requests of the Registry


    June 29th, 1990

    The Honourable Pierre Blais, P.C., M.P.
    Registrar General of Canada
    House of Commons, Room 448
    Confederation Building
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1AOA6

    Dear Sir:

    I have the honour to present to you the Annual Report on the administration of the Lobbyists Registration Act in accordance with the provisions of subsection 11(1) of the Act. The report covers the fiscal year ending March 31, 1990.

    Yours sincerely,

    Henri Denolf
    Acting Registrar


    This is the first Annual Report on the administration of the Lobbyists Registration Act (S.C. 1988, Chapter 53) which was proclaimed in force on September 30, 1989. This report covers the period from the date of proclamation to the end of the fiscal year, March 31, 1990.

    1. Purpose and Description of the Act

    The purpose of the Lobbyists Registration Act, as recited in its preamble, is to bring transparency to the activities of paid lobbyists without impeding free and open access to government. The Act accomplishes this purpose by requiring that individuals who, for pay, engage in certain lobbying activities, register so that the public, as well as those holding public office, can be aware of who they are and on whose behalf they are lobbying.

    The Act distinguishes between two types of lobbyists: Tier I and Tier II. A Tier I lobbyist is an individual who, for payment and on behalf of a client, undertakes to arrange a meeting with a public office holder or to communicate with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the development, making or amendment of any federal law, regulation, policy or program or the award of any federal monetary grant or the award of any federal contract. Public office holder means any officer or employee of Her Majesty in right of Canada and includes virtually everyone occupying a position in the federal government.

    Tier I lobbyists (sometimes referred to as "professional lobbyists") must lie one registration for each of their undertakings to lobby on behalf of a client. These lobbyists are required to disclose their clients and the subject-matter of the undertaking, and if the client is a corporation, the parents and subsidiaries of that corporation. Tier I lobbyists must register within 10 days of commencing their lobbying activity on behalf of a client.

    A Tier II lobbyist is an individual who, on behalf of an employer, communicates as a significant part of his or her duties with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the same type of activities as apply to a Tier I lobbyist, except for the awarding of contracts.

    Tier II lobbyists (sometimes referred to as "employee lobbyists") are required to register annually, providing their name and the name and address of their employer. These lobbyists must register within two months of assuming their duties and renew their registration before the end of February each year.

    The Lobbyists Registration Regulations set out the manner and form of the returns to be lied and the applicable fees for services provided by the Registry of Lobbyists. Registration forms for Tier I and Tier II lobbyists are reproduced in the Annex [PDF Format, 438Kb].

    Under subsection 9(1) of the Lobbyists Registration Act, responsibility for administration of the Act is assigned to a registrar who is appointed by the Registrar General of canada and who is required to establish and maintain the Registry of Lobbyists. section 11 of the Act provides that, within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the registrar must prepare and submit to the Registrar General of canada a report on the administration of the Act. The Registrar General, in turn, is required to submit a copy of the Annual Report to each House of Parliament.

    2. Start-up Activities

    The Registry of Lobbyists was established in September 1989 and, for administrative purposes, was situated within the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs as the Lobbyists Registration Branch.

    For 1989-90, the Lobbyists Registration Branch had an indeterminate person-year allocation of four person-years. Abudget of $467 000 was authorized for salaries, operating expenditures and the acquisition and development of a computer system. In addition, during 1989-90, the Branch required three temporary person-years to carry out the activities necessary to establish the Registry.

    The first task of the Lobbyists Registration Branch was the preparation of regulations under the Act. Simultaneously with the drafting of the regulations, the Registry itself needed to be developed. Procedures were developed for processing and verification of registrations by Branch personnel. A computer system that stores optically-scanned images of registration forms was acquired. This allows users to carry out searches of all information in the Registry database, to view individual registration returns on computer terminals, and to print copies of these documents. The Registry system was designed to allow the public to perform all of these functions with little or no assistance from Branch personnel.

    Shortly after passage of the Lobbyists Registration Act by Parliament, Branch staff embarked on an extensive public information program aimed at ensuring maximum compliance with the law. An information booklet was prepared, covering the basic requirements of the legislation, explaining how the registration system would operate and answering questions on the application of the Act. This booklet and a copy of the Act were mailed to firms and organizations that had approached the Government for information about the program or that were identified as possibly employing persons who would be required to register under the Act. Aleaflet was also designed for distribution through government offices.

    Interviews were given to media and over two dozen presentations were made to professional and trade associations and federal government officials.

    To inform public office holders about the requirements of the Act and the operation of the Registry, letters were sent to federal cabinet ministers and members of Parliament, federal deputy ministers and senior public servants, and federal Governor in Council appointees.

    3. Ongoing Administration

    Branch staff perform a variety of tasks as part of the ongoing administration of the Lobbyists Registry. All registration returns are reviewed for completeness and accuracy. When problems are found, staff contact the registrant by telephone or letter to obtain the required information. The information from each return is entered into the Registry's computer database and the completed registration form itself is optically scanned. Staff provide information regarding the legislative requirements, maintain the Registry systems, and assist members of the public and public office holders to obtain information from the Registry.

    4. Statistical Review

    Registrations

    Within 10 days of the september 30, 1989 opening, the Registry had received 829 Tier I registration forms. By November 30, 1989, 1 709 Tier II registrations had been filed. Atotal of 6 221 registration forms had been processed by the fiscal year end. Table 1 provides summary information about the returns processed.

    Table 1: Registration Information (as of March 31, 1990)
    Registrations Processed:
    Tier I 2 099
    Tier II 4 122
    Total 6 211
    Registrations Active on March 31
    Tier I 473
    Tier II 2 355
    Total 2 828

    Subject-Matter of Tier I Lobbying Undertakings

    Tier I lobbyists are required to disclose the subject-matter of their lobbying undertakings. The registration form lists 52 general subject-matter categories. Table 2 provides a ranking of the various subject areas and indicates the frequency with which each was identified in the Tier I registrations filed between September 30, 1989 and March 31, 1990.

    Table 2: Frequency of Tier I Subject-Matter Areas of Concern (as of March 31, 1990)
    Rank Area of Cencern Frequency Rank Area of Concern Frequency
    1 International Trade 2 095 27 Fiscal & Monetary Policy 624
    2 Reg. Ee. Development 2 042 28 Labour 582
    3 Industry 2 022 29 Agriculture 542
    4 Govt. Procurement 1 952 30 Youth Issues 542
    5 Science & Technology 1 45 31 Post-Sec. Education 527
    6 Corporate Affairs 1 667 32 Social Policy 520
    7 Investment 1 504 33 Social Policy 516
    8 Consumer Issues 1 501 34 Natural Resources 497
    9 Transportation 1 483 35 Women's Issues 472
    10 Environment 1 387 36 Postal Services 420
    11 Fed.-Prov. Relations 1 363 37 Immigration 419
    12 Taxation 1 328 38 Arts & Culture 388
    13 Communications 1 328 39 Aboriginal Affairs 310
    14 Defence 1 167 40 Forestry 290
    15 Employment 1 068 41 Mining 261
    16 Foreign Affairs 1 039 42 Housing 251
    17 Intellectual Property 1 000 43 Administration of Justice 214
    18 Health 973 44 Criminal Law 214
    19 Public Works 840 45 Citizenship 200
    20 Financial Institutions 809 46 Senior·Citizen Issues 155
    21 Small Business 753 47 Other 139
    22 Energy 750 48 Veterans Affairs 118
    23 Privatization 749 49 Amateur Sports 103
    24 Int'l Development 724 50 Human Rights 67
    25 Fisheries & Oceans 635 51 Parole Penitentiaries 45
    26 Public Safety 632 52 Multicultutalism 22

    Types of Tier I Lobbying Activities

    Tier I lobbyists are also required to disclose the type of lobbying activity involved. Seven categories are identified on the registration form. Table 3 shows the frequency with which each category was identified in registrations filed between September 30, 1989 and March 31, 1990.

    Table 3: Frequency of Tier I Lobbying Activities (as of March 31, 1990)
    Type of Subject-Matter Activity Frequency
    Communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the development or amendment of a policy or program of the Government of Canada 10 260
    Communicating with.a public office holder in an attempt to influence the making or amending.of any regulation within the meaning of the Statutory Instruments Act 7 966
    Communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the awarding of any contract by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada 5 599
    Communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the awarding 5 164 of any monetary grant or contribution of any other financial benefit by of on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada 5 164
    Arranging a meeting with a public office holde 4 891
    Communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the development of a legislative proposal by the Government of canada or by a member of the Senate or the House of Commons 4 048
    Communicating with a public office holder in an attempt to influence the introduction, passage, defeat or amendment of any Bill or resolution before either House of Parliament 2 952

    5. Compliance

    For the period covered by this report, compliance by the lobbyist community with the registration requirements of the Act appears to have been excellent. Neither the registrar nor the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the principal enforcement authority for the law, has received any complaints respecting the failure to fIle a return or the fIling of false or misleading returns. Where returns have been identified or reported as being deficient, the Registry staff have initiated appropriate action to correct the observed deficiency.

    6. Information Requests of the Registry

    In the period shortly before and after the opening of the Registry, some 1,200 telephone calls were received for information about the program. There were 51 visitors and 85 telephone caIls requesting information about lobbyists. Aprivate weekly publication reports every registration, thus supplementing the information services offered by the Lobbyists Registration Branch.

    Branch revenues, mostly from copies of documents and registry reports, amounted to $6 665.25 for the period ending March 31, 1990.

    The Registry is open for public inspection Monday to Friday, except holidays, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. It is located at:

    Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada
    Place du Portage, Phase II, 4th floor
    165 Hôtel-de-Ville Street
    Hull, Quebec
    KIA OC9
    Tel.: 819-953-7144