A Guide to Registration (Page 7 of 7)

7. Activities Following Registration

This chapter describes activities that will occur after you register as a lobbyist. These include:

7.1 Submitting Monthly Returns

Registration Updates

The Act stipulates that registrations must be updated no later than 15 days after the end of a month if information contained in an active registration is no longer correct or additional information that the registrant has become aware of should be included in the registration (e.g., new in-house lobbyist, new government institution being lobbied, new subject matter being lobbied, etc.).

Six-Month Returns

If five months have elapsed since the end of a month in which either:

  1. a registration (new, update or reactivation) was filed, or;
  2. a monthly communication report was filed,

the Act requires that the registrant file a six-month return before the first of the following month. When you begin a six-month return, you have the option to either:

  1. confirm that the registration information remains unchanged and that there have not been any oral and arranged communications with a designated public office holder; or
  2. proceed to update the registration with any changes required.
Note
During the Six-Month Return process, you will have the opportunity to instead update the registration. When an update is certified, the Six-Month Return is no longer required.

Monthly Communication Reports

Monthly communication reports must be filed not later than 15 days after the end of any month in which communication of a prescribed type involving a designated public office holder took place. Pursuant to the Lobbying Act, Designated Public Office Holders (DPOH) are defined as Members of Parliament, Senators, Ministers, Ministers of State, ministerial staff, senior public officials such as Deputy Ministers, and Associate and Assistant Deputy Ministers (including those of comparable rank), as well as certain other senior positions designated by regulation. (See list of prescribed positions at Section 1.3.)

The Lobbyists Registration Regulations prescribe the types of communications that must be reported in a monthly report as "oral and arranged communications excluding oral and arranged communications initiated by public office holders related to the development or amendment of policy, programs, regulations or legislation." In-house and consultant lobbyists must report all oral and arranged communications relating to financial benefits, even when initiated by a public officer holder. Likewise, consultant lobbyists must report oral and arranged communications relating to a contract regardless of who initiated the communication.

The tables below summarize the criteria to be used by consultant lobbyists (Table 1) and in-house lobbyists (Table 2) to determine whether or not to report certain communications with a DPOH.

Table 1–Communications with DPOHs by Consultant Lobbyists
Monthly Communications Reports
Communications between DPOHs and Consultant Lobbyists
Oral and arranged communication(s) Related to the development or amendment of policies, programs, regulations or legislations Related to government contracts Related to financial benefits, i.e. grant or contribution
Initiated by someone other than a POH: Yes Yes Yes
Initiated by a POH: No Yes Yes
Table 2–Communications with DPOHs by In-House Lobbyists
Monthly Communications Reports
Communications between DPOHs and In-House Lobbyists
Oral and arranged communication(s) Related to the development or amendment of policies, programs, regulations or legislations Related to financial benefits, i.e. a grant or contribution
Initiated by someone other than a POH: Yes Yes
Initiated by a POH: No Yes
Note

Oral communications with Designated Public Office Holders include phone conversations, meetings, and any other oral communication such as a communication that takes place over the Internet using VoIP or other modern technologies.

An arranged communication is one that has been arranged in advance, and where:

  • there is a request made;
  • the request is accepted; and
  • there is a time interval between the request and the communication.

The monthly communication report must contain:

  • the names of the designated public office holders who participated in the communication,
  • the position titles of the designated public office holders,
  • the names of the branches or units and the names of the government institutions in which the designated public office holders worked at the time of the communication,
  • the date of the communication, and
  • the subject-matters of the communication.
Note

Before they can file monthly communication reports with the OCL, registrants must:

  1. have an active account with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying and
  2. have submitted a certified registration.

To submit a monthly communication report, return to the Registrant Dashboard (see Screenshot 4-Registrant Dashboard).

From the Current Activities tab, choose the registration for which a monthly communication report must be filed, then click the Add New link in the Communication Reports section.

Before entering the data concerning monthly communications with designated public office holders, you must first confirm that the information in the underlying registration is complete and accurate. To do this, scroll through the registration to view it. If the registration needs to be updated, click the Return to Registrant Dashboard link at the bottom left of the page.

If either the subject matter of your communication or the government institution of the DPOH with whom you communicated is not in the In Associated Registration list, scroll down and you will find them in the Not in Associated Registration list. This means that you will need to update the underlying registration as soon as possible.

In the Certify Communication Report page, review all the information entered to ensure it is correct. Check the corresponding box to confirm that the information entered is true to the best of your knowledge. Choose whether you wish to publish the monthly communication report immediately in the Registry of Lobbyists, or have the system publish it automatically on the due date. Enter your username and password, then click the Certify button.

Your communication report has now been submitted and a confirmation page is shown. We recommend that you keep a copy for your files.

Note

Click on What is a DPOH? to ensure that the person you have communicated with holds a designated position.

A Government Electronic Directory Services (GEDS) icon link beside each first name field is provided to allow you to conduct a search and confirm the spelling of a DPOH name. OCL highly encourages registrants to use this tool to ensure accuracy of data.

Managing Monthly Communication Reports

From the Current Activities tab on the Registrant Dashboard, click the View link in the Communication Reports section for the registration you would like to access. The default view presents all monthly communication reports with communication dates within the last six months. If you require to view reports with communication dates prior to the last six months, select the month and year and click the View button. From here, you can also amend or cancel your monthly communication reports.

There are two reasons that a monthly communication report might need to be amended or cancelled:

  1. You discover an error in the monthly communication report;
  2. The OCL or an interested party discovers a possible error in the monthly communication report (e.g., through verification by the OCL's Compliance Officer).
Note
A sample of lobbyists' communication reports is reviewed by the OCL's Compliance Officer every month. The review will consist of verifying with the Designated Public Office Holder that the dates and details provided in the report are correct. In some cases, errors will be identified, either as a result of the OCL staff's follow-up with a DPOH or through reports made by other interested parties who scan the publicly available reports.

To amend a monthly communication report, follow the steps below:

  • Click on the Amend link adjacent to the monthly communication report you wish to amend;
  • After reviewing the information in your registration, click on the Confirm button if you wish to complete the amendment process;
  • Amend the information you wish to modify;
  • Provide the reason why the amendment was made;
  • Enter your username and password and click on the Certify button.
Note
If you amend a certified monthly communication report, this amended version will replace the previous one. The new monthly communication report will be available in the Registry with a link to the original version.

To cancel a monthly communication report, follow the steps below:

  • Click on the Cancel link adjacent to the monthly communication report you wish to cancel;
  • Check the confirmation box and provide the reason for cancelling this certified monthly communication report;
  • Enter your username and password and click on the Certify button.
Note
If you cancel a certified communication report, it will not be available within the Registry but will remain in your Registrant dashboard with a Cancelled status.

7.2 Terminating a Registration

In accordance with the Act, registrants must inform the Commissioner when a lobbyist's undertaking has been performed or is terminated, or when an organization or corporation no longer meets the significant part of duties threshold (see sections 5 and 6 of this guide, as well as the Interpretation Bulletin relating to significant part of duties (the 20 % rule).)

When a lobbyist's undertaking is completed or terminated, or when a corporation or organization no longer meets the significant part of duties threshold, registrants must terminate the registration no later than 15 days after the end of the month in which that situation occurs.

To terminate an activity, first go to the Current Activities tab of the Registrant Dashboard. Click on the End Activity link for the activity you want to terminate, confirm the lobbying activity has now ceased, enter the date on which the lobbying activity ceased and then enter your username and password.

Note
Registrants can reactivate terminated registrations using the Previous Activities tab on the registrant's dashboard.

7.3 Responsible Officer Change

Note
This feature applies to In-House Corporations and In-House Organizations only.

Occasionally, a corporation or an organization will have a change at its most senior level, which will trigger a need to update the information concerning the senior officer responsible for filing in the Lobbyists Registration System (i.e. the registrant). The registrant is the employee who holds the most senior remunerated executive position within the corporation or organization (e.g. the Chief Executive Officer, the Executive Director or the President). The information in the existing account can be transferred, however, this is an administrative process performed by the OCL staff only. In order to transfer the content of an In-House Corporation's or an In-House Organization's registration from the current registrant to the new registrant's account, the Corporation or Organization must contact the OCL who will email the transfer procedures and request further information. When it receives a satisfactory reply to these questions as well as a new Registrant User Agreement, the OCL will proceed to change your organization's most senior officer in the Lobbyists Registration System.

Once the transfer process is finalized, the OCL will advise you via e-mail that your registration has been updated to reflect the change of registrant.

Note
If the new registrant already has a user account, he/she will continue to use his/her current account and will not need to create another one. However, in all cases, a new Registrant User Agreement (RUA) must be completed and sent by email, fax or mail to the OCL.

7.4 Managing Firm Profiles for Consultant Lobbyists

Note
This feature applies to Consultant Lobbyists only.

The Consultant's Firm Profiles section within the registrant dashboard allows you to do the following:

  1. Update contact information within existing firm profiles;
  2. Add new firm profiles;
  3. Remove firm profiles no longer used within active registrations.

Updating Existing Firm Profiles

If the address, telephone number or email addresses have changed for the consulting firm profile, you can update this information once without having to update each registration independently.
To edit existing firm profiles:

  1. From the Registrant Dashboard, in the left-hand column, under Registrant Menu, click Consultant's Firm Profiles.
  2. On the Consultant's Firm Profiles screen, click the View/Edit link for the profile you wish to edit.
  3. In the Edit Firm Profile screen, modify any content that is required. Once this is saved, any active registration that was using this firm profile, will now show the updated information.
Note
You cannot edit a consulting firm name if the firm profile is already being used by an active registration. If the name of your consulting firm has changed, you will need to create a new firm profile, then update all your registrations and apply the new firm profile.

Adding New Firm Profiles

It is possible to have several firm profiles, each with distinct coordinates, within the same Consultant Lobbyist's LRS account. Separate profiles allow the lobbyists to apply the appropriate firm profile to each lobbying activity.

To add a new firm profile:

  1. In the registrant dashboard, in the left-hand column, under Registrant Menu, click Consultant's Firm Profiles.
  2. On the Consultant's Firm Profiles screen, click the Create firm profile link.
  3. In the Create Firm Profile screen, enter the new firm's coordinates.

Remove Firm Profiles

If you are no longer using a firm profile within an active or pending registration, you can remove the profile from your list.

To remove a firm profile:

  1. From the registrant dashboard, in the left-hand column, under Registrant Menu, click Consultant's Firm Profiles.
  2. On the Consultant's Firm Profiles screen, click Remove for the firm profile you no longer use.
  3. Confirm the removal of the firm.

7.5 Copying an Existing Consultant Lobbyist Registration to Create a New Registration

Note
This feature applies to Consultant lobbyists registrations only.

If you wish to submit a new consultant registration using the same or similar content as another registration that is currently in the public registry for the same client, you can save time by using the Copy Registration feature provided in the Lobbyists Registration System.

Things you should know about the Copy Registration feature

  • Only Consultant Registrations can be copied.
  • Only registrations that have been accepted and are in the Public Registry can be copied.
  • Copying a registration creates a new registration submission. You cannot use the copy function to submit an update or a reactivation to an existing lobbying activity.
  • You cannot copy a registration with a client name that has already been used within the registrant's account.
  • All information is copied except the information on the lobbyist. When the registration is copied, the system will apply the recipient's lobbyist information in place of the original owner of the registration which was copied.

To create a new registration from an existing consultant registration, consultant lobbyists should return to the Registrant Dashboard (see Screenshot 4-Registrant Dashboard).

There are two ways to copy a consultant registration.

  • The first approach is available to Registrants, Registrants/Representatives and Representatives (from the New Activities tab).
  • The second approach is only available to Registrants/Representatives and Representatives (from the Current Activities tab).

For information on both methods, please consult the detailed instructions.

Glossary

This Glossary includes two sections:

Lobbying Act Definitions

"designated public office holder" means

(a) a minister of the Crown or a minister of state and any person employed in his or her office who is appointed under subsection 128(1) of the Public Service Employment Act,

(b) any other public office holder who, in a department within the meaning of paragraph (a), (a.1) or (d) of the definition "department" in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act,

(i) occupies the senior executive position, whether by the title of deputy minister, chief executive officer or by some other title, or
(ii) is an associate deputy minister or an assistant deputy minister or occupies a position of comparable rank, and

(c) any individual who occupies a position that has been designated by regulation under paragraph 12(c.1).

"employee"
includes an officer who is compensated for the performance of their duties.
"grass-roots communication"
is a technique that uses mass media or direct communication to persuade members of the public to communicate directly with a public office holder in an attempt to pressure the public office holder to endorse a particular opinion. Such efforts primarily rely on use of the media or advertising, and result in mass letter writing and facsimile campaigns, telephone calls to public office holders, and public demonstrations.
"officer responsible for filing returns" means
the employee who holds the most senior office in a corporation or organization and is compensated for the performance of their duties.
"organization" includes
  1. (a) a business, trade, industry, professional or voluntary organization,
  2. (b) a trade union or labour organization,
  3. (c) a chamber of commerce or board of trade,
  4. (d) a partnership, trust, association, charitable society, coalition or interest group,
  5. (e) a government, other than the Government of Canada, and
  6. (f) a corporation without share capital incorporated to pursue, without financial gain to its members, objects of a national, provincial, patriotic, religious, philanthropic, charitable, scientific, artistic, social, professional or sporting character or other similar objects.
"payment" means
money or anything of value and includes a contract, promise or agreement to pay money or anything of value.
"prescribed" means
prescribed by regulation.
"public office holder" means
any officer or employee of Her Majesty in right of Canada and includes
  1. (a) a member of the Senate or the House of Commons and any person on the staff of such a member,
  2. (b) a person who is appointed to any office or body by or with the approval of the Governor in Council or a minister of the Crown, other than a judge receiving a salary under the Judges Act or the lieutenant governor of a province,
  3. (c) an officer, director or employee of any federal board, commission or other tribunal as defined in the Federal Courts Act,
  4. (d) a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and
  5. (e) a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
"senior officer" in respect of a corporation, means
  1. (a) a chief executive officer, chief operating officer or president of the corporation, or
  2. (b) any other officer who reports directly to the chief executive officer, chief operating officer or president of the corporation.
"subsidiary corporation"
For the purposes of this Act, a corporation is a subsidiary of another corporation if
  1. (a) securities of the first-mentioned corporation to which are attached more than fifty per cent of the votes that may be cast to elect directors of the first-mentioned corporation are held, otherwise than by way of security only, directly or indirectly, whether through one or more subsidiaries or otherwise, by or for the benefit of the other corporation; and
  2. (b) the votes attached to those securities are sufficient, if exercised, to elect a majority of the directors of the first-mentioned corporation.
"transition team"
(3) Any person identified by the Prime Minister as having had the task of providing support and advice to him or her during the transition period leading up to the swearing in of the Prime Minister and his or her ministry is subject to this Act, except subsections 10.11(2) to (4), as if the person were a designated public office holder during that period.

LRS Lexicon

Certification:
When a registration or communication report is submitted through the LRS application, the registrant is required to certify the information by inputting their LRS application username and password.
Client:
The name of the individual, organization or corporation on whose behalf a consultant undertakes the lobbying activities and who would be the primary beneficiary of the lobbying.
Consultant undertaking:
Indicates the unique association between a LRS registrant (where they are a consultant lobbyist) and a client on whose behalf the registrant is or has lobbied. The details of an undertaking are documented through registrations. Any changes to the undertaking are indicated by a change to the version number of the registration. Thus, for any activity, the first (New) registration starts with the version number 1.
Consultant lobbyists:
Persons who lobby on behalf, and are paid by (not employed by), a person or company. Consultant lobbyists are required to have an LRS account to submit registrations and communications which represent the lobbying activities.
Corporate lobbyists:
Persons who lobby on behalf, and are employed by a corporation. Corporate lobbyists are not required to have an LRS account unless they are the most senior officer (Responsible Officer) of the Corporation.
Correction requested:
A submitted registration that is being reviewed by OCL may be sent back to the registrant to correct or confirm specific content that was submitted. The regulations state that the registrant has 10 in which to respond and re-certify the registration.
Dashboard:
A term used for the initial page a registrant or representative would view upon logging into LRS. The intention of the dashboard is to allow the registrant or representative to get a full view of their lobbying activities which would allow access to functionality and actions most commonly used.
Details regarding the identified subject matters:
Within a registration, these describe the specifics with regard to the subject matters stated. Subject matter details are required to be entered with a name and description under one or more of the following categories:
  • Legislative Proposal, Bill or Resolution
  • Regulation
  • Policies or Program
  • Grant, Contribution or Other Financial Benefit
  • Government Contract Pursued (Consultant registrations only)
DPOH:
Designated Public Office Holder.
Effective date:
The official start date at which the registration information is valid. This date is entered by the registrant upon certification whenever an action that creates a version change to a registration occurs. As the registrant most often registers a few days after entering into a lobbying undertaking, the effective date often precedes the filing or certification date.
Exemption:
The Commissioner of Lobbying may grant an individual an exemption from the five-year prohibition on lobbying. This ruling would allow the person/registrant to lobby and register their lobbying activity. Exemptions may be granted for the following reasons.
  • The individual was a designated public office holder for a short period.
  • The individual was a designated public office holder on an acting basis.
  • The individual was employed under a program of student employment;
  • The individual had administrative duties only.
Exemption number:
If an exemption is granted to an individual, they will be provided with an exemption number. Exemption numbers always contain 6 numbers, followed by a dash, 3 numbers, a dash and a letter, for a total of 12 characters (e.g., 200809-001-E). This number will have to be supplied with any registration where the person/registrant is lobbying. The exemption number will be required to be entered for any persons who fall within the five year ban and who are included on a registration (as a lobbyist). Additionally, the ruling allowing the person to lobby will be accessible by the public through the OCL site.
Filing date:
Also known as certification date. This is the date at which a registration or monthly communication report is submitted (certified).
Firm:
A company whose employees are consultant lobbyists. Also known as a Consulting Firm.
Firm profile:
A firm within the LRS application that can be created, edited and applied to consultant registrations. A firm profile contains the following information: Firm name (English and French), address, telephone, fax, extension number, and contact emails.
Five-Year Prohibition:
A restriction on lobbying activity applied to those who have held a designated public office after July 2, 2008. These individuals will be banned from lobbying for five years after the last day they held a designated public office. (Note: This does not apply to those individuals who held the position within an employment exchange program.)
In-House lobbying activity:
When a corporation or organization employs individuals to lobby the federal government, the Responsible Officer is legally responsible to enter and certify In-House registration submissions but is not indefinitely linked to the Organization or Corporation. This is due to the possible change of Responsible Officer. Therefore, if a change to the Responsible Officer takes place, the activity is inherited by the new Responsible Officer.
Lobbying statistics:
Publicly available statistical reports related to registrations and monthly communication reports.
Monthly communication report due date:
Monthly date at which communications are due for the previous month. Communication reports are required to be entered not later than 15 days after the end of the month the communication occurred (basically, due the 15th of every month for the previous month's communications).
OCL:
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying (OCL):
The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying is responsible for establishing and maintaining the registry under the Lobbying Act, which includes the information on all registered lobbyists and their activities that are required under the Act.
On-hold:
A feature that allows a registrant who certifies and submits a communication to hold the communication from public access (through the Communication Search) till the communication due date. The On-hold feature is not available for communications which have been submitted late.
Organizational lobbyists:
Persons who lobby on behalf, and are employed by, a non-profit company (organization). Organizational lobbyists are not required to have an LRS account unless they are the Responsible Officer of the Organization.
Originating Filing Date:
Date used against an active registration to calculate the six-month report due date when no communications have been submitted.
Pending registration:
A pending registration is a registration which has not been reviewed and accepted by OCL.
POH:
Public Office Holder.
Reactivation:
The ability for a registrant to re-start a lobbying activity with a client/org/corp where they previously had an active registration. Note: A registrant can only re-activate from the latest version of an ended lobbying activity.
Registrant:
A LRS account holder who is, by virtue of the Lobbying Act, responsible for submitting and certifying registrations and communications for paid lobbying activities.
Registration:
A registration is a document which describes a lobbying activity for a specific time period.
Registrant profile:
Contact information for a LRS registrant account holder which can be applied to active and pending registrations.
Registration status:
The status of a registration describes where the registration is within its life cycle. Registrations can be in the following Pending statuses: Incomplete, Certification required, Certified-submitted, Correction required and Correction submitted. Cancelled statuses: Rejected and Cancelled by Registrant. Accepted statuses: Active or Inactive. Only accepted registrations (Active or Inactive) will be displayed publicly.
Registration status – Active:
An accepted registration version where there is no associated end date.
Registration status – Inactive:
A previously accepted registration version which represents a lobbying activity which has ended. The registration will have an effective date and an end date.
Registry of lobbyists:
The database or listing of all published monthly communication reports and reviewed/accepted registrations. Registrations may be in active or inactive state. The public can access the information within the registry through a number of different tools and reports:
  • 12-Month Activity Search
  • Advanced Search
  • Recent Registrations listing
  • Recent Monthly Communication Reports listing
  • Various Lobbying Statistical Reports
  • Data Extract (CSV files of the complete registry)
Representative:
A representative is an account holder in LRS which has been granted access to manage assigned registrant accounts. This allows the representative to create and edit registrations on behalf of a registrant. Only a registrant can grant access to a representative to his or her account.
Responsible officer:
The most senior paid employee at an organization or corporation. The responsible officer is responsible for filing returns.
Responsible officer change:
If a corporation or organization who is or has registered a lobbying activity incurs a change in their most senior employee AND the corporation or organization is required to reactivate or continue the lobbying activity, a Responsible Officer Change is required to be performed on the most recent accepted registration for that organization or corporation. This activity can only be performed by an OCL Advisor. This process moves the org/corp number to the new Responsible Officer.
Service standard:
Number of business days for OCL to systematically respond to a registration submission. OCL has set a service standard of 3 business days for any registration submission that has been submitted according to the Lobbying Act rules (i.e. non-late submission). Statutory holidays are not considered business days.
Six-month return:
A six-month return for a lobbying activity is required when the following has occurred:
  • No registration update has been certified within five months past the end of the month of the last registration filing date; and,
  • No Communications entry has been certified within five months past the end of the month of the last communications entry filing date.

The six-month report allows the registrant to confirm the following two items:

  • There have been no communications with DPOHs since the last entry; and,
  • The content of the registration is still valid.
Six-month transitional provision for Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADMs):
Though ADM positions are considered designated public office positions; they were not subject to the same July 2, 2008 date prohibition restriction as other DPOH positions. ADM positions were granted an additional six months provision. In other words, any individual who had held an ADM position up to six months after July 2, 2008 (i.e. left before Jan. 2, 2009), were NOT subject to the five-year prohibition.
Subject matters:
These are the topics of discussion related to the undertaking/lobbying activity and related communications. Within the registration, a default set of subject-matters are provided for the registrant to choose for their registration. Examples include Environment, Consumer Issues, Small Business etc. When a registrant enters a communication for an undertaking/lobbying activity, they are required to indicate what subject-matter was addressed within the communication.
Submission date:
Same as the filing/certification date.
Verification:
Procedure performed by the Investigations Directorate within OCL which involves verification of published communications by Designated Public Office Holders involved in the communication.

Registrant User Agreement

Note

The Registrant User Agreement is a five-page document to be completed, signed and submitted, either as a scanned e-mail attachment to Questionslobbying@ocl-cal.gc.ca, by fax (613-957-3078) or by regular mail. It is available on the OCL website, at the following locations:

HTML version: 00303.html

PDF Version: https://ocl-cal.gc.ca/eic/site/012.nsf/vwapj/Agreement.pdf/$file/Agreement.pdf

Only Page 1 is included below as a sample.

Registrant User Agreement
The Registrant User Agreement is a five-page document to be completed, signed and submitted, either as a scanned e-mail attachment to Questionslobbying@ocl-cal.gc.ca, by fax (613-957-3078) or by regular mail.

The first page of a Registrant User Agreement.