Contact with Lobbyists and Former Senior Government or Opposition Representatives

Version Number

2.1

Implementation Date

9/04/2014

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

This procedure outlines the process to be followed when a government representative is in contact with or may have contact with:

  • ​a registered lobbyist,
  • an unregistered lobbyist,
  • a former senior government representative or
  • a former Opposition representative

Overview

Responsibilities

Staff up to and including Executive Director level:

  • ​If you are contacted by:
    • A person engaging in lobbying activity, or
    • a former senior government representative or Opposition representative, of less than 2 years standing, who is carrying out related lobbying activity for a third party client

refer them directly to your deputy director-general or assistant director-general and seek advice as to the appropriate course of action

Director-General, Deputy Director-General and Assistant Director-General

  • If you are referred or receive contact from:
    • ​a person engaging in lobbying activity, or:
    • a former senior government or Opposition representative, of less than 2 years standing, who is carrying out related lobbying activity on behalf of a third party client

you must firstly establish whether the person is registered on:

  • ​Employees must not engage in lobbying activity with unregistered lobbyists.  If staff reasonably believe someone is an unregistered lobbyist and undertaking lobbying activity they should advise the person:
    • that the contact may be a “lobbying activity” under the Integrity Act 2009
    • there is a requirement under the Act to seek some clarification as their standing as unregistered lobbyist
    • until clarification is obtained, no further discussion can be held regarding any lobbying activity matters with them, but discussion can be held regarding unrelated lobbying activity.
  • ​Discontinue any lobbying activity discussion with the person until their lobbying registration status is resolved.
  • Make a note of the person’s details and circumstances of the lobbying activity (i.e. the date, time and place of the meeting, who were present and the nature of the meeting which raised the concern that lobbying was being undertaken.  Report the contact to the Director, Ethical Standards Unit.
  • Check that all declarations have been forwarded for collection and entry by the Ethical Standards Unit to the DETE Register of Contact with Lobbyists within 7 days of the end of each quarter.  

All staff 

  • ​disclose any relationship with a lobbyist and/or former senior government representative and/or former Opposition representative and take reasonable steps to avoid any conflict of interest between your official duties and personal interests 
  • advise the registered lobbyist that their personal information is being collected by the department as part of its responsibilities under the Act and that their personal information will be published on the department’s website as part of the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) framework

Ethical Standards Unit:

  • Advise on protocols relating to contact with lobbyists and former senior government or Opposition representatives

Forward up-to-date register to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner as required

  • Refer any suspected lobbying activity by an unregistered lobbyist to the Integrity Commissioner.


Process

The step by step process for this procedure is listed by role under responsibilities. 

Online Resources

Review Date

1/04/2016
Attribution CC BY

Contact:

Includes telephone or email contact, written mail contact and face-to-face meetings

DETE register of contact with lobbyists:

A register recording contact by the department with any registered lobbyist

Former senior government representative:

A person who is no longer a government representative, is not an Opposition representative and was one of the following:

  • Premier or another Minister
  • an Assistant Minister
  • a councillor
  • a public sector officer who was a chief executive, senior executive or senior executive equivalent
  • ministerial staff member
  • an assistant minister staff member

Government representative:

  • ​Premier or another Minister
  • an Assistant Minister
  • a councillor
  • a public sector officer
  • ministerial staff member
  • An assistant minister staff member

Former Opposition representative

A person who is no longer an Opposition representative, is not a government representative and was one of the following:

  • ​the Leader of the Opposition
  • the Deputy Leader of the Opposition staff member in the office of the Leader of the Opposition

Opposition representative

A person who is one of the following:

  • ​The Leader of the Opposition
  • The Deputy Leader of the Opposition
  • A staff member in the office of the Leader of the Opposition

Lobbying:

Contact with a government representative in an effort to influence State or local government decision-making, including:

  • ​the making or amendment of legislation 
  • the development or amendment of a government policy or program 
  • the awarding of a government contract or grant 
  • the allocation of funding 
  • the making of a decision about planning or giving of a development approval under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld); or

contact with an Opposition representative in an effort to influence the Opposition’s decision-making including:

  • ​the making or amendment of legislation
  • the development or amendment of a policy or program of the Opposition
  • the Opposition’s position or view in relation to State or local government decision-making including the points mentioned above.

It does not include contact:

  • with a committee of the Legislative Assembly or a local government
  • with a member of the Legislative Assembly or a councillor in their capacity as a local representative on a constituency matter
  • in response to a call for submissions
  • as a result of a petition or a grassroots campaign  
  • in response to a request for tender
  • in response to a request by government representatives or Opposition representatives for information
  • on non-business issues
  • only for the purpose of making a statutory application
  • incidental meetings beyond the control of a government representative e.g. at a conference or seminar
  • statements made in a public forum

Lobbyist:

An entity that carries out lobbying for a third party client itself, or whose employees and/or contractors do so.

Register of lobbyists:

Related lobbying activity:

Lobbying activity by a former senior government representative or senior Opposition representative related to their official dealings (as a government representative or Opposition representative) within 2 years before becoming a former senior government representative or Opposition representative.

Public sector officer:

The chief executive or an employee of:

  • ​a department
  • public service office
  • registry or other administrative office of a court or tribunal
  • local government
  • corporate entity under Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) 
  • parliamentary service
  • government owned corporation
  • a rail government entity under the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994
  • an entity prescribed by regulation, that is assisted by public funds

Senior executive:

An officer appointed as a senior executive under the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld)  It includes a regional director, executive director, assistant director-general, deputy director-general and associate director-general

Senior executive equivalent:

An employee other than a chief executive whose remuneration is equal to or greater than the remuneration payable to a senior executive.

Unregistered lobbyist:

An external person or entity that is lobbying on behalf of a third party client but does not appear on the Australian Government Lobbyist Register and/or the Queensland Government Register of Lobbyists (links below)