What is indirect lobbying?
The Regulation of Lobbying Act provides that a "relevant communication" (lobbying activity) can be made directly or indirectly to a Designated Public Official (DPO).
If a person requests that another person or entity lobby on the first person's behalf, then that first person may be engaging in indirect lobbying. (For example: A person asks their neighbour, who happens to be related to a DPO, to speak to the DPO on their behalf.) In this case the first person, if within scope of the Act (see question 3 above), would be required to register and submit a return of the lobbying activity.
If, however, a person is being paid to lobby on another person’s behalf then the person being paid to lobby is required to register and submit a return of lobbying activities and include the other person as “a client” on the return of lobbying activities.
If a person is communicating on a "relevant matter" with a public official who is not a DPO and the person requests or indicates that the communication should be brought to the attention of a DPO, then this is regarded as a communication made indirectly to the DPO and as a relevant communication. (For example: A person meets with a public servant who is not a DPO, and asks that they raise the matter discussed with the head of the organisation or the Minister (who are DPOs)). In this case the person making the communication is indirectly communicating with the DPO and is required to register (if within scope of the Act) and submit a return in respect of that lobbying activity.
If a person is communicating on a "relevant matter" with a public official who is not a DPO and the person does not request or indicate that the communication should be brought to the attention of a DPO, then this is not regarded as an indirect communication made to a DPO. It is not regarded as an indirect relevant communication by the person even if the public official subsequently decides to refer the matter to a DPO (e.g. Head of the Organisation or relevant Minister).