A Guide to Registration (Page 4 of 7)

Registration Requirements for In-house Lobbyists (Corporations)

(Section 7 of the Lobbying Act)

Overview

Disclosures for in-house lobbyists (corporations) must be completed and filed by the most senior paid officer employed by the corporation (the Registrant) when one or more of the corporation's employees are involved in lobbying activities as defined by the Act, and where the accumulated activity of all such employees would constitute a significant part (20% or more) of the duties of a single equivalent employee. For the purpose of estimating the proportion of the employees' duties devoted to lobbying, one can use time as an indicator to estimate the part of the duties which constitutes lobbying. Note that the time spent communicating, travelling and preparing for communicating with public office holders should be included in the estimation. Other means of estimation may be also used by the most senior officer, which could be qualitative as well as quantitative, in order to estimate the significance of each employee's duties devoted to lobbying. If, over the course of a month, the 20 % threshold is met or exceeded, or is expected to be met or exceeded, then registration becomes necessary for the corporation.

Registration is required with respect to the following matters:

  • The making, developing or amending of legislative proposals, bills or resolutions, regulations, policies, programs; or
  • The awarding of grants, contributions or other financial benefits.

In-house corporate lobbyists are usually full-time employees and senior officers of the company. Their primary function is usually not public affairs or government relations work, although large corporations often have one or a few individuals whose primary duties involve communicating with public office holders. Hence, their duties would include communicating with federal public office holders, whether formally or informally. When the accumulated lobbying duties by all paid employees of the corporation constitutes 20% of the duties of a single equivalent employee over a one-month period, the officer responsible for filing returns must file a registration in which the names of those employees would be listed. The officer responsible is usually the employee who holds the most senior remunerated executive position within the corporation.

It is the responsibility of the most senior paid officer employed by the corporation to complete and file an in-house lobbyists corporation initial disclosure within two months after the obligation to register first arises, and to register the corporation with the Commissioner of Lobbying. In the disclosure, the Registrant will be required to disclose the name of all senior paid officers of the corporation (the most senior executive and all of his or her direct reports) who perform lobbying activities, no matter what proportion of their duties such lobbying activities may represent. The Registrant must also disclose the name of all employees of the corporation for whom lobbying activities represent 20% or more of the duties estimated over a one-month period.

Note that, from now on, Registrants will be required to indicate whether corporation employees whose names appear in the disclosure were former POHs or former DPOHs. Former DPOHs who are subject to the Lobbying Act's five-year prohibition on lobbying activities will be permitted to lobby as in-house corporate lobbyists if such lobbying activities represent less than 20% of their duties. Based on the information provided by the Registrant, the Lobbyists Registration System will automatically create the two lists of corporate lobbyists required under sub-paragraph 7(3)(f.1) of the Lobbying Act.

As well, a monthly communications reports (or entries) will need to be filed monthly by the Registrant for all communications between any employee of the corporation and a DPOH. Changes to any information contained in the corporation's underlying registration will also need to be disclosed no later than 15 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred, in accordance with the requirements for the registration of in-house lobbyists (corporations).

Thereafter, if no changes are submitted during a six-month period (in effect, for 5 months after the month of filing), a "six-month return" must be filed for each active registration no later than 15 days after the end of that period. This means that on the 15th day of every six month period, a new certification of the registration's content is required, if there are no changes or monthly communications with DPOH to report during that period5.

Monthly Communications Reports (or Entries)

Registrants must now report oral and arranged communications with a DPOH, (except if initiated by the DPOH), related to the development of policy, programs or legislation. However, oral and arranged communications related to financial benefits are required to be reported, even when initiated by a DPOH.

The table below summarizes the criteria to be used to determine whether or not to report certain communications with a DPOH, (Yes) or (No).

Monthly Communications Reports Communications with DPOHs by In-House Lobbyists (Corporations)t2
Oral and arranged communication(s) Related to the development of policies, programs or legislations Related to financial benefits, i.e. a grant or contribution
Initiated by a lobbyist: Yes Yes
Initiated by a DPOH: No Yes

The following information must be disclosed:

  • Name and position title of the officer responsible for filing returns;
  • Name and business address of the corporation;
  • A general description of the corporation's business or activities;
  • Name and business address of the parent corporation and those subsidiaries that directly benefit from the lobbying;
  • Names of the senior officers (chief executive officer, chief operating officer or president, and any other senior officer who reports directly to them) who communicate at any time with public office holders;
  • Names of other employees of the corporation who lobby as a significant part of their duties (20% or more over a one-month period);
  • If any of the employees is a former public office holder or a former designated public office holder, a description of the offices held;
  • If any of the employees is a former public office holder or a former designated public office holder, the period during which those positions were held;
  • If any of the employees is a former member of a Prime Minister's transition team, the period during which the individual was a member of that team;
  • If applicable, the number of the exemption granted to the employee by the Commissioner of Lobbying with regard to the five-year prohibition on lobbying activities;
  • Subject matters including the specific legislative proposals, bills or resolutions, regulations, policies, programs, grants, contributions or other financial benefits sought, as well as details related to those;
  • Name of each department or other governmental institution lobbied;
  • Source and amount of any government funding provided to the client, as well as information indicating if the corporation is expecting to receive public funding; and
  • Communication techniques used, including grass-roots lobbying (see FAQs for definition).

The Act requires that the names of employees of the corporation who are involved in lobbying activities be displayed using two lists: one for senior officers and other employees of the corporation for whom lobbying activities represent a significant part of their duties (20% or more); and another list that includes the names of each of the senior officer for whom lobbying activities does not represent a significant part of their duties (less than 20%). Based on the information disclosed by the Registrant, the Lobbyists Registration System will create those two lists of in-house corporate lobbyists.