Guidance Offered on Lobbying Reports

Posted January 17, 2009 at 10:43am

The Secretary of the Senate put out new guidance on Friday for lobbyists and ethics lawyers who are preparing to file their fourth-quarter lobbying reports next week.

Mostly minor clarifications, the guidance does clear up confusion regarding whether lobbyists sitting on association boards must disclose political action committee donations, according to Ken Gross, an ethics lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Lobbyists must disclose when they sit on trade group boards, but they are not required to individually list their political action committee donations as was previously thought.

Additionally, the secretary clarified the requirements for when lobbyists must disclose that lawmakers have been honored and that organizations must include in total lobbying fees the portion of dues paid to trade groups that goes toward influence peddling.

The Secretary of the Senate’s office has asked lobbyists to submit concerns regarding the new filing system and will put out further guidance in July, prior to the next semi-annual filing.