Ensuring that your governmental relations firm is complying effectively with lobbying rules isn’t as simple as it used to be. Ongoing changes in federal laws, which govern lobbying coupled with increases in civil and criminal penalties have made lobbying a delicate endeavor.
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After Information Systems Integration COO Michael King welcomed the group, Patrick Callahan of Centurion dove into the much needed details of modern compliance. Topics included:
- The key laws that govern federal lobbying activities, such as the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA).
- The noted increase in civil and criminal penalties for failure to disclose lobbying activity in recent years, such as the $125,000 civil penalty obtained by federal prosecutors in Washington in 2014.
- The increasing knowledge and precision required in completing disclosure reports.
- Definitions of Lobbyist, Lobbying Contact, Lobby Activity, Lobby Employer and Covered Officials, noting that the executive branch of the government is particularly complicated and that lobbyists should consult a trusted source prior to engagement.
- Types of Federal Lobbying Disclosures & Requirements, including the LD-1, LD-2 and LD-203 reports.
After covering the basics, Patrick continued by providing expert advice on best practices for lobbying compliance. Those focus areas were:
- Keeping track of which bills and/or provisions of bills are lobbied.
- Best practices for individual and lobby employer time and expense tracking.
- Developing well-defined policies, regular audits, and annual compliance training for in-house lobbyists and other related employees.
- Pertinent tips on communicating with the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, the Clerk of the U.S. House, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
- The consequences of missed reports and ignoring official communiques.
Mr. Callahan then introduced Shannon Patrick, also from Centurion, to discuss social media and its role in lobbying and compliance. Shannon provided vital information for governmental relations firms that are working to remain relevant with the most popular social media platforms. Her points included:
- The most common social platforms, with statistics showing that as of 2014, 71 percent of adults use Facebook, 28 percent use LinkedIn, and 23 percent use Twitter, among other social media sites
- Due to this popularity, social media is a central part of politics, campaigning and lobbying efforts.
- Best practices for new media revolve around having a concrete and well-defined policy for social site use among your staff, which differentiate between personal and professional usage.
- The need for guidance on workplace social media policies, as developed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Did you miss out? Learn more about modern lobbying compliance, and keep track of our future webinars by getting in touch with Information Systems Integration today at (866) 788-2354 or email@example.com.
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