ACT Legislative Assembly


Continuing resolution 8AC

Lobbyist Register —

ACT Lobbyist Regulation Guidelines

Resolution agreed by the Assembly

25 September 2014

Persons/Entities required to be registered

  1. (1) A “lobbyist” is defined as:

    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.

  2. (2) In relation to part (1), “lobbying activities” are defined as:

    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:

    1. (a) with a committee of the Assembly;

    2. (b) with a Minister in their capacity as a local Member and in relation to matters falling outside their ministerial responsibilities;

    3. (c) in response to a coercive requirement by a public official for information;

    4. (d) in response to a request by a public official for information or the submission of view;

    5. (e) in response to a request for tender, expression of interest, etc;

    6. (f) protected by a government-endorsed whistle-blower regime;

    7. (g) that is only an approach to a public official for publicly available information without any attempt to influence;

    8. (h) as part of a grassroots campaign;

    9. (i) made in a public forum; or

    10. (j) for the avoidance of doubt:

      1. (i) by one government to another government; or

      2. (ii) by one government official to another government official in the course of the official duties of the former.

  3. (3) A “public official” means:

    1. (a) a Member of the Legislative Assembly;

    2. (b) any person employed by such a person under the Legislative Assembly (Members’ Staff) Act 1989; and

    3. (c) any person employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

Persons/Entities ineligible to be registered

The following persons are ineligible to be registered as a lobbyist or authorised person:

  1. (1) a person who has ever been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months or more;

  2. (2) a person who has been convicted, as an adult, in the last 10 years, of an offence, one element of which involves dishonesty, such as theft or fraud;

  3. (3) a person who is, or acts as, a member of a federal, state or territory political party executive or administrative committee, or similar;

  4. (4) a person whose name has been previously removed from the Register because of a contravention of the ACT Lobbying Code of Conduct; and

  5. (5) a person who, in the opinion of the Clerk, has not acted, or cannot be relied upon to act, in a manner consistent with general standards of ethical behaviour.

Persons/Entities not required to be registered

The following categories of persons/entities are not required to be registered before conducting defined lobbying activities even though they might otherwise fall within the definition of lobbyist:

  1. (1) religious bodies;

  2. (2) charities;

  3. (3) not-for-profit organisations that represent the interests of their members, such as trade unions, trade and industry associations, etc;

  4. (4) members of foreign trade delegations;

  5. (5) persons/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;

  6. (6) 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; and

  7. (7) persons 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.

Public content of the ACT Register of Lobbyists

The public section of the Register is to contain the following detail for each registrant:

  1. (1) For a natural person:

    1. (a) full name;

    2. (b) trading name, if applicable;

    3. (c) business address;

    4. (d) contact details;

    5. (e) ABN, if applicable;

    6. (f) full name and address of any other person authorised to conduct lobbying activity on behalf of the registrant;

    7. (g) for the registrant and any other named person, place of and title in previous public sector employment and date of separation;

    8. (h) name and address of each client on whose behalf lobbying activity is or may be conducted; and

    9. (i) name and address of each person or entity on whose behalf lobbying has been conducted in the preceding 12 months, whether or not for reward.

  2. (2) For a partnership:

    1. (a) full name of each partner;

    2. (b) trading name of partnership, if applicable;

    3. (c) business address of partnership;

    4. (d) name and contact details for partner principally responsible for registration;

    5. (e) ABN of partnership, if applicable;

    6. (f) full name of any person authorised to conduct lobbying activity on behalf of the partnership;

    7. (g) for each partner and any other named person, place of and title in previous public sector employment and date of separation;

    8. (h) name and address of each client on whose behalf lobbying activity is, or may be, conducted; and

    9. (i) name and address of each person or entity on whose behalf lobbying has been conducted in the preceding 12 months, whether or not for reward.

  3. (3) For a company:

    1. (a) registered company name;

    2. (b) trading name of company, if applicable;

    3. (c) business address of company;

    4. (d) name and address of each director of the company;

    5. (e) name and address of any entity or other person holding 10% or more of the issued capital of the company;

    6. (f) name and contact details for company officer principally responsible for registration;

    7. (g) ACN/ABN of company;

    8. (h) full name of any person authorised to conduct lobbying activity on behalf of the company;

    9. (i) for each director and any other named person, place of and title in previous public sector employment and date of separation;

    10. (j) name and address of each client on whose behalf lobbying activity is, or may be, conducted; and

    11. (k) name and address of each person or entity on whose behalf lobbying has been conducted in the preceding 12 months, whether or not for reward.

Registration Forms

In addition to providing the information required to be shown on the public ACT Register of Lobbyists, applications for registration must declare on the Registration Form that he or she:

  1. (1) has never been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months or more;

  2. (2) has not been convicted, as an adult, in the last 10 years, of an offence, one element of which involves dishonesty, such as theft or fraud;

  3. (3) is not and does not act as a member of a federal, state or territory political party executive or administrative committee, or similar; and

  4. (4) gives an undertaking to comply with the ACT Lobbying Code of Conduct, separately signed by each person whose name will appear on the Register.

Changes to registered details

  1. (1) A registered lobbyist is required to advise the Clerk of any change to any detail appearing on the public register within 10 days of that change occurring.

  2. (2) A registered lobbyist is additionally required to advise the Clerk within 10 days of becoming aware that any person named on the Register has:

    1. (a) been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months or more;

    2. (b) been convicted of an offence, one element of which involves dishonesty, such as theft or fraud; or

    3. (c) become or is acting as a member of a federal, state or territory political party executive or administrative committee, or similar.

Maintaining accuracy of the Register

In addition to providing notification of changes in registered details, a registered lobbyist is required to provide the Clerk with a quarterly return, within 10 working days of 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year, which return is required to:

  1. (1) confirm that their registered details are accurate; and

  2. (2) update the listing of each person or entity on whose behalf lobbying has been conducted in the preceding 12 months, whether or not for reward.

Registration decisions

  1. (1) The Clerk is precluded from placing on the Register a lobbyist or authorised person who has not provided all required documents.

  2. (2) The Clerk is also:

    1. (a) empowered to deny registration where he or she believes that registration documents provided are false or misleading;

    2. (b) empowered to remove from the Register any currently registered lobbyist or authorised person who the Clerk considers has since become ineligible for registration;

    3. (c) empowered to remove from the Register any lobbyist or authorised person who the Clerk considers has acted in contravention of the ACT Lobbying Code of Conduct unless satisfied that the contravention was unintentional and that adequate steps have been implemented to render any further contravention unlikely;

    4. (d) required to remove from the Register any lobbyist or authorised person who, once registered, does not provide all required change notification or confirmation documents; and

    5. (e) has a general discretion to refuse (or remove) registration of an otherwise eligible lobbyist or person authorised to lobby on their behalf where the registering authority considers that there are reasonable grounds to believe that that lobbyist or person has acted, or cannot be relied upon to act, in a manner consistent with general standards of ethical behaviour.

  3. (3) Before exercising any of these listed powers, the Clerk is required to offer the lobbyist and any authorised person in question a reasonable opportunity to make a submission in relation to the proposed decision and should be required to have regard to any submission made before taking a final decision.

Access to the Register

Internet access to the Register is to be available to the public free of any charge.

Timing of entries on or changes to the Register

To avoid any unwarranted delay in the conduct of the business of a lobbyist, new entries or changes to existing entries should be available on the Register webpage on average within two (2) business days of the receipt of properly completed registration forms.

Handling of Complaints

  1. (1) If the Clerk receives a complaint that lobbying activities have been conducted by a person required to be registered but not registered on the Register, he is to contact that person and ensure that they are aware of the registration requirements. If that person does not become registered within a reasonable period, the Clerk is to advise all Members and the Head of Service that the person in question is not registered and that Members, their staff, consultants and contractors and persons employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 are not permitted to knowingly entertain lobbying activities from that person.

  2. (2) If the Clerk receives a complaint that a person registered on the Register has breached the ACT Lobbying Code of Conduct, the Clerk is to consider whether or not that person should be removed from the Register. Before taking any such action the Clerk is required to offer the lobbyist or authorised person in question a reasonable opportunity to make a submission in relation to the proposed decision.

  3. (3) If the Clerk receives a complaint that a Member has entertained lobbying activities by a person required to be but not registered on the Register, the Clerk should refer that matter to the Member in question for their consideration, and copy that referral to the Speaker.

  4. (4) If the Clerk receives a complaint that a staff member of or contractor or consultant to a Member has entertained lobbying activities by a person required to be but not registered on the Register, the Clerk should refer that matter to the Member in question for their consideration of any necessary further direction to or other action in respect of that staff member or contractor or consultant, and copy that referral to the Speaker.

  5. (5) If the Clerk receives a complaint that a person employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 has entertained lobbying activities by a person required to be but not registered on the Register, the Clerk should refer that matter to the Head of Service for their consideration of any necessary further direction to or other action in respect of that person, and copy that referral to the Chief Minister.

This resolution has effect from 1 January 2015 and continues in force unless amended or repealed by this or a subsequent Assembly.

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Page last updated on 16 May 2018
2015 Legislative Assembly for the ACT