Public funds and lobbying don't mix.
Feeling confused about the lobbying restriction under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010?
You’re not alone. Let’s break it down.
What is the restriction?
Under the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998, consultant lobbyists are prohibited from lobbying for a client if that client is a designated broader public sector organization and pays the consultant lobbyist for their lobbying services with public funds or other revenues. If one of these organizations hires a consultant lobbyist who is paid using public funds, the consultant lobbyist would be in breach of the Act.
Which broader public sector organizations have this restriction?
The organizations are listed in the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010 (BPSAA). They include hospitals, school boards, universities, colleges, children’s aid societies and any organization that received more than $10 million in funding from the Ontario government in the last fiscal year.
So, I can’t be hired to lobby for these organizations?
The organizations listed are not restricted from lobbying. They are only restricted from hiring a consultant and paying them with public funds. If an organization does hire a consultant lobbyist, the consultant lobbyist must file an attestation form, signed by their client, to certify that the consultant was not paid with public funds.
My client will pay me with other funds. How do I file an attestation?
The BPSAA question can be found on a consultant lobbyist’s registration form. If you complete this question, you will be directed to download and save an attestation form so that your client can review and sign it. Once you have done this, you can proceed with filing the registration. The attestation form is also available on the Resource page on our website. It is the consultant lobbyist’s responsibility to return the signed attestation to this Office (electronic copies with the head of the client organization’s e-signature are acceptable).
An updated version of the attestation form must be submitted with each registration renewal.
Where can I get more information?
We have an Interpretation Bulletin on the BPSAA restriction that provides a list of the designated broader public sector organizations, as well as an explanation of the exemptions to the definition of public funds.
Interpretation Bulletin #4: Can my client pay me with public money?
You can also seek an Advisory Opinion for specific advice about your situation.