General information on the ACT Register of Lobbyists
On this page:
About the Register
The ACT Register of Lobbyists provides information to the Government and the public, on who is undertaking lobbying activities in the Australian Capital Territory with the Government and who lobbyists represent in conducting their business.
From 1 January 2015 only lobbyists who are registered on the ACT Register of Lobbyists will be able to contact a Member of the Legislative Assembly, their staff and contractors, or ACT public sector employees for the purpose of lobbying on behalf of a third party.
Why has the ACT established the Register?
Lobbying and lobbyists play a vital and beneficial role in any democracy. In an endeavour to promote the benefits of lobbying and lobbying activities, the ACT Legislative Assembly has established a Register of Lobbyists to:
- provide a public official being "targeted" by lobbying activity with transparency as to the identity of the parties on whose behalf lobbying is being undertaken, thus enabling them to better assess the views being advanced and to better judge whether they need to seek alternative or balancing views from other quarters
- lay down expectations for the conduct of lobbyists while engaging in lobbying activities
- prevent lobbying by some categories of persons while they hold particular positions
- prevent lobbying by former holders of particular positions for a "cooling-off" period post-separation from those positions
- provide the public with a degree of transparency about the influences and reasons that may have led public officials to take decisions or to act in a particular way.
What is a lobbyist?
A lobbyist is any person, company or organisation who conducts lobbying activities on behalf of a third party, or whose employees or other personnel conduct lobbying activities on behalf of a third party, where such lobbying activities are ordinarily carried out in the expectation of receiving direct or indirect financial reward or other valuable consideration whether or not the amount thereof is ascertainable at the time such activities are conducted.
What are lobbying activities?
A lobbying activity is any oral or written (including electronic) communication with a public official to influence legislation or policy, regulatory or administrative decisions of the public official or another public official other than a communication:
with a committee of the Assembly
with a Minister in their capacity as a local Member and in relation to matters falling outside their ministerial responsibilities
in response to a coercive requirement by a public official for information
in response to a request by a public official for information or the submission of a view
in response to a request for tender, expression of interest, etc
protected by a government-endorsed whistleblower regime
that is an approach to a public official for publicly available information without any attempt to influence
as part of a grassroots campaign
made in a public forum
for the avoidance of doubt by one government to another or by one government official to another in the course of the duties of the former.
Is there an ACT Lobbying Code of Conduct?
Yes. The ACT Lobbying Code of Conduct was adopted as a continuing resolution of the Assembly on 5 August 2014 and can be found in the Assembly's standing orders.
Are there guidelines for the conduct of lobbying activities?
Yes. The ACT Lobbyist Regulation Guidelines were adopted as a continuing resolution of the Assembly on 25 September 2014 and amended by the Assembly on 21 March 2019. The guidelines can be found in the Assembly's standing orders.
Do I need to register?
Yes. If you, as an individual, partnership or company wish to lobby a Member of the Legislative Assembly, their staff and contractors (employed under the Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Act 1989) and ACT public sector employees (employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994) on behalf of a third party, you must register.
How do I register?
To register you will need to:
- Download the relevant registration form and complete (electronically or by hand)
- Ensure the details you have entered are correct
- Return the completed form following the instructions on the form
- Your details will appear on the Register as soon as practicable after your registration form has been received. The ACT Lobbyist Regulation Guidelines require that information be available on the Register on average within two (2) business days of the receipt of properly completed registration forms. You will be notified by email once this has been completed
What information is required from me to register?
Further details on required information is contained in the ACT Lobbyists Regulation Guidelines.
When registering as a natural person (individual), you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Trading name (if applicable)
- Business address
- Contact details
- ABN (if applicable)
- Full name and address of authorised person/s
- Previous public sector employment details of natural person (individual) and other named person/s (if applicable)
- Client/s details
When registering as a partnership, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Full name of each partner
- Trading name of partnership (if applicable)
- Business address of partnership
- Contact details for responsible partner
- ABN of partnership (if applicable)
- Full name and address of authorised person/s
- Previous public sector employment details of each partner and other named person/s (if applicable)
- Client/s details
When registering as a company, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Registerd company name
- Trading name of company (if applicable)
- Business address of company
- Contact details for each director of company
- Name and address of entity or other person holding 10% or more of issued capital of company
- Contact details of responsible company officer
- ACN/ABN of company
- Contact details of authorised person/s
- Previous public sector employment details of each company director and other named person/s (if applicable)
- Client/s details
A registered lobbyist is required to advise the Registrar of any change to any details appearing on the public register within 10 days of that change occurring. This can be done by completing a Alteration of Details Form (Word, 202KB).
Prior to 21 March 2019, a registered lobbyist was also required to provide a quarterly return, within 10 working days of 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December. From 21 March 2019, a registered lobbyist is now required to provide a six monthly return, within 15 working days of 30 June and 31 December in each year. The can be done by completing the Six Monthly Return Form (Word, 218KB).
Am I ineligible to be registered?
A lobbyist who was previously:
- a Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly shall not, within 18 months of ceasing to hold that office, engage in lobbying activities relating to any matter that they had official dealings with in their last 18 months in office
- employed under the Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Act 1989 shall not, within 12 months of ceasing to be so employed, engage in lobbying activities relating to any matter that they had official dealings with in their last 12 months in such employment
- employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 as a Head of Service, Director-General or Executive shall not, within 12 months of ceasing to be so employed, engage in lobbying activities relating to any matter that they had official dealings within their last 12 months in such employment.
A lobbyist who is appointed to a Government board, committee or other entity must not represent the interests of a third party to a public official in relation to any matter that relates to the functions of entity and must, where they have made such representations prior to that appointment, ensure that they comply with all honesty, integrity and conflict of interest provisions and procedures applicable to appointees to that entity.
A person is ineligible to be registered as a lobbyist or authorised person if they:
- have ever been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months or more
- have been convicted of an offence, as an adult, in the last 10 years, of an offence, one element of which involves dishonesty, such as theft or fraud
- are, or acts as, a member of a federal, state or territory political party executive or administrative committee, or similar
- have previously been removed from the Register because of a contravention of the ACT Lobbying Code of Conduct
- in the opinion of the Clerk, have not acted, or cannot be relied upon to act, in a manner consistent with general standards of ethical behaviour
Am I not required to register?
The following are not required to be registered before conducting defined lobbying activities:
- religious bodies
- not-for-profit organisations that represent the interests of their members, such as trade unions, trade and industry associations, etc
- members of foreign trade delegations
- individuals/bodies registered under government laws where dealings with government are part of the normal day-to-day work of people in their profession, for example, architects, customs brokers, etc
- members of professions who make occasional representations to government on behalf of others in a way that is incidental to the provision of their professional services, for example, doctors, accountants, lawyers
- individuals who conduct lobbying activities only for relatives or friends provided that such are only in respect of the personal rather than business or commercial affairs of such persons
How are my complaints handled?
Details on how complaints are handled can be found in the ACT Lobbyist Regulation Guidelines contained in the Assembly's standing orders.