Have you been in contact with a lobbyist?

Are you aware that in Queensland we have the Integrity Act 2009 (the Act), which governs the contact between lobbyists and the government including opposition representatives? This blog will let you know what records you need to be creating and for how long if you are creating records of contact with lobbyists.

What is a lobbyist?

Under s41(1) of the Act, a lobbyist is an entity that carries out a lobbying activity for a third party client or whose employees or contractors carry out a lobbying activity for a third party client.

However, the following entities are not considered lobbyists:

  • a non-profit group
  • an entity constituted to represent the interests of its members, e.g. a professional association
  • members of trade delegations visiting Queensland
  • an entity carrying out incidental lobbying activities, e.g. providing architectural services
  • an entity carrying out a lobbying activity only for the purpose of representing the entity’s own interests.

The Queensland Integrity Commissioner maintains the Register of lobbying contacts which is required under s68 of the Act.

Contact with a lobbyist

Under s42(3) of the Act, contact with lobbyists includes telephone calls, emails, written mail and face-to-face meetings. However, with the growth of social media and other online channels, you also need to be aware of contact through all methods. Ensure you record any contact with lobbyists on your agency’s register of contact with lobbyists by providing the date of the meeting, title(s) and name(s) of government representatives, name of the lobbyist entity, name of the client and purpose of the meeting.

It’s important that you capture the decisions and actions from these interactions with lobbyists to show there was no undue influence in providing an accountable and transparent government.

If you have any queries about lobbyists and lobbying, please contact the Queensland Integrity Commissioner on (07) 3003 2888 or integrity.commissioner@integrity.qld.gov.au.

How long to keep records from contact with lobbyists

Any records that you create are sentenced using the General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS).

1081 Contact with lobbyists

Records relating to contact between the agency and registered lobbyists as defined under s.42 of the Integrity Act 2009.

Records may include, but are not limited to:

·        records of telephone, email or written contact

·        meeting reports

·        entries in a lobbyist register.

10 years after business action completed.

If you have contact with entities that are not considered lobbyists, these records can be sentenced according to the business activity they relate to. For example, if there was consultation for new legislation, sentence under GRDS 1168.

Remember, you can contact us via email, telephone (3037 6630), blog, Twitter.

Government Recordkeeping Team

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