Resolution agreed by the Assembly
5 August 2014
(a) Free and open access to the institutions of government is a vital element of our democracy.
(b) Ethical lobbying is a legitimate activity and an important part of the democratic process.
(c) Lobbyists can enhance the strength of our democracy by assisting individuals and organisations with advice on public policy processes and facilitating contact with public officials.
(d) In performing this role, there is a public expectation that lobbyists will be individuals of strong moral calibre who operate according to the highest standards of professional conduct.
(e) This Code of Conduct is designed to ensure that contact between lobbyists and public officials is conducted in accordance with public expectations of transparency, integrity and honesty.
(2) When making initial contact with public officials with the intention of conducting lobbying activities, a lobbyist who is proposing to conduct lobbying activities must inform the public official:
(a) that they are a lobbyist or a person engaged by a lobbyist to conduct lobbying activities;
(b) whether or not they are currently listed on the ACT Register of Lobbyists;
(c) the name of the person(s) on whose behalf they seek to conduct those lobbying activities; and
(d) the nature of the matters that they wish to raise in those lobbying activities.
(3) When engaging with a public official, a lobbyist must observe the following principles:
(a) a lobbyist shall conduct their business to the highest professional and ethical standards, and in accordance with all relevant requirements with respect to lobbying activities;
(b) a lobbyist shall act with honesty, integrity and good faith and avoid conduct or practices likely to bring discredit upon themselves, public officials or those whose interests they represent;
(c) a lobbyist shall not engage in any conduct that is corrupt, dishonest or illegal, or unlawfully cause or threaten any detriment;
(d) a lobbyist shall use all reasonable endeavours to satisfy themselves of the truth and accuracy of all statements and information provided by them to clients whom they represent, to the wider public, or to public officials;
(e) a lobbyist who becomes aware that information they have previously provided to a public official was or is now inaccurate shall provide accurate and updated information to that public official if they believe that the official may be relying on the accuracy of the information previously provided;
(f) a lobbyist shall not make misleading, exaggerated or extravagant claims about, or otherwise misrepresent, the nature and extent of their access to public officials, members of political parties or any other person;
(g) a lobbyist shall keep strictly separate from their duties and activities as lobbyists any personal activity or involvement as a member of or on behalf of a political party;
(h) a lobbyist shall not disclose confidential information of another party unless they have obtained the informed consent of that party, or they are required to do so by law;
(i) a lobbyist shall not represent conflicting or competing interests without having obtained the informed consent of the parties whose interests are involved;
(j) a lobbyist shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that their details as recorded on the ACT Register of Lobbyists are and remain correct from time to time;
(k) 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;
(l) a lobbyist who was previously 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;
(m) a lobbyist who was previously employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 as aHead 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 with in their last 12 months in such employment;
(n) 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;
(o) a lobbyist who:
(i) is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months or more;
(ii) is convicted of an offence, one element of which involves dishonesty, such as theft or fraud; or
(iii) becomes or commences to act as a member of a federal, state or territory political party executive or administrative committee, or similar;
thereupon cease to engage in lobbying activities and shall so advise the Clerk of the ACT Legislative Assembly; and
(p) a lobbyist shall ensure that any owner, partner, shareholder or other individual involved in the management of the business of the lobbyist does not occupy or act as a member of a federal, state or territory political party executive or administrative committee, or similar.