A Guide to Registration (Page 5 of 7)

Registration requirements for In-House lobbyists (Organizations)

(Section 7 of the Lobbying Act)

Overview

Many organizations have paid employees who work on government relations, public affairs or specific policy areas or issues. These employees may communicate, even though infrequently, with elected or appointed federal public office holders in the context of lobbying activities, as defined by the Lobbying Act.

The need to register arises when one or more of those employees communicate with public office holders to lobby and when the total lobbying activities of all such employees would constitute a significant part of the duties (20% or more) of a single equivalent employee. For the purpose of estimating the proportion of an employee's duties devoted to lobbying, one can use as an indicator the time spent lobbying and preparing for lobbying public office holders over a period of one month. If, over the course of that period, the 20 % threshold is met or exceeded, then registration becomes necessary for the organization and its employees.

An initial disclosure (also referred to as an initial return) for in-house lobbyists (organization) must then be completed and filed by the most senior paid executive employed by the organization (the Registrant) in order to register the organization and its paid employees involved in lobbying activities.

Lobbyist 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.

The most senior paid executive employed by the organization (the Registrant) is responsible for completing and filing an in-house lobbyist (organization) initial disclosure within two months after the need to register arises and to register the organization with the Commissioner of Lobbying. In the disclosure, the Registrant will be required to disclose the name of all of the organization's paid employees who perform lobbying activities on behalf of the organization. If the most senior officer (the Registrant) also undertakes lobbying activities on behalf of the organization, his or her name will need to be listed as an in-house lobbyist for the organization.

Registrants will be required to indicate whether organization's 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 not be permitted to lobby as in-house organization lobbyists for five years after they ceased to hold a designated public office, unless they were granted an exemption by the Commissioner of Lobbying.

Monthly communications reports will also need to be filed for all prescribed communications taking place between any of the organization's employees and a DPOH thereafter. Changes to any information contained in the corporation's underlying registration will 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 (organizations).

Thereafter, if no changes or monthly communications reports are submitted during a six-month period (in effect, for 5 months after the month of filing), a "six-month return" must be filed 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 period6.

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 (Organizations)t3
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 senior officer;
  • Name and business address of the organization;
  • General description of the organization's activities;
  • General description of the organization's membership;
  • Names of employees who lobby including, as applicable, the senior officer;
  • If any of those employees is a former public office holder or a former designated public office holder, a description of the offices held;
  • If any of those 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 those 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 one of those employees 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 client is expecting to receive public funding; and
  • Communication techniques used, including grass-roots lobbying (see FAQs for definition).