Top ten things DPOs need to know about lobbying

Have you been lobbied? Do you have any duties or responsibilities? If you have been lobbied (or will be in the future) then check out this list to find out more!

1) Meeting with lobbyists is a legitimate and valid part of your role as a Designated Public Official, however it is important that lobbying activities are conducted in an open and transparent way.

2) It is important to maintain proper records of lobbying communications but the obligation to register and submit returns rests with the person lobbying, not you!

3) Communications outside the formal application process about local authority development plans, rezoning requests, planning variances etc. all count as lobbying.

4)  Formality doesn’t matter. Emails, phone calls, meetings, even tweets can count as lobbying. So can casual conversations and indirect contacts through friends or associates. And it doesn’t matter who initiates the contact.

5)  DPOs’ names will appear on the Register as a result of lobbying communication. This does not imply agreement with or acceptance of the views of the person lobbying you.

6) You have the right to seek correction of any inaccurate information relating to you. Check the register from time to time to see if it’s right.

7) Be aware of the rules, including the Act, the Code of Conduct for persons carrying on lobbying activities and the Guidelines for DPOs at  when meeting with lobbyists.

8) Self-identify as a DPO at meetings and on emails, business cards etc.

9) Determine if working groups you participate in should operate under the Transparency Code.

10) Continue to engage with lobbyists and guide people lobbying you to for more information on their obligations