A Guide to Registration (Page 7 of 7)
How Are the Registration Requirements Enforced?
It is the responsibility of lobbyists to comply with the Lobbying Act.
The Commissioner has an education mandate and a communications program which are intended to help facilitate compliance with the Act. The Commissioner may also issue advisory opinions and interpretation bulletins to help lobbyists and registrants understand the Act's registration provisions as well as the requirements of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct.
The Act provides for substantial penalties for lobbyists if they fail to register, or make false or misleading statements in their disclosures. The Commissioner shall conduct an investigation if he or she has reason to believe that an investigation is necessary to ensure compliance with the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct or the Act. If, during the course of an investigation, the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that a person has committed an offence under the Act or any other Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, the Commissioner may advise a peace officer having jurisdiction to investigate the alleged offence.
Section 14 of the Act states that such contraventions may carry fines of up to $50,000 and/or jail terms of up to 6 months upon summary conviction, and up to $200,000 and/or two years imprisonment on indictment. The Act sets a 5-year limitation period for summary conviction from the date the Commissioner became aware of the offence and 10 years after the day the alleged offence occurred. Further, the Commissioner may prohibit a person convicted of an offence under the Act from lobbying for up to 2 years.
The Commissioner (and his/her delegates) has the authority to request clarification or verification of any information submitted by lobbyists, including monthly reports regarding communications with designated public office holders. Under the Act, lobbyists are required to respond to these requests within 30 days. As well, lobbyists and registrants must make any corrections to their submitted disclosures within 10 days of the Commissioner's or his/her delegate's request.
- Footnote 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
This means that disclosure is required if there are no changes or monthly communications with DPOHs to report during a period which cannot exceed six months, but which will generally be a little bit less, depending on the date of the last transaction. For example, if a disclosure was filed on March 8, and then no changes or DPOH communications entries were filed during the following 5 months (April, May, June, July, August), a "six-month return" would consequently need to be filed before September 15th. However, if a DPOH communication entry or a change in the registration had been filed on May 22nd, and no other transaction had occurred over the subsequent five months (June, July, August, September, October), then a "six-month return" would need to be filed before the 15th of November.
- Table Footnotes t1, t2, t3
Note: Communications initiated by a DPOH may not be subject to the monthly reporting requirement in accordance with the above table. However, this should not be confused with the requirement to register overall lobbying activities and subject matters within the underlying registration. Consequently, if the subject matter related to a particular communication with a DPOH differs from what appears in the underlying registration, it will be necessary to update the subject matter in the underlying registration at the latest on the 15th of the month following the month in which the communication with the DPOH took place.
For greater convenience, the Lobbyists Registration System will automatically compare monthly communication entries with active underlying registrations and prompt registrants to file an update if changes are needed to the information related to the Subject Matter or to Government Institutions.