I am not a professional “lobbyist”, but I do communicate with Designated Public Officials on behalf of my client. Do I have to register?
A number of professionals from a wide range of sectors may communicate on behalf of a client. Certainly those who would call themselves consultant lobbyists may lobby on behalf of a client. However, so might solicitors, tax professionals, accountants, management consultants and others. There is no exemption in the Act for any particular profession.
The test, set out in section 5(1)(a) of the Act, is whether a person “makes, manages or directs the making of, any relevant communications on behalf of another person in return for payment (in money or money’s worth)” where the client falls within specific categories, namely they must be a person with more than ten employees or a representative or advocacy body with at least one employee. If the person fits within that definition, and are communicating on behalf of a client with a Designated Public Official about a relevant matter, they would be considered to be engaged in lobbying, whether or not they might think of themselves as a lobbyist.
In summary, the Register of Lobbying is meant to capture lobbying activities, including those made by someone on behalf of a client, regardless of the profession of the person representing the client.