The NSW Government is introducing a Lobbyist Code of Conduct and, in accordance with the Code, has established a register of professional lobbyists. The Code will take effect from 1 February 2009 and a copy is attached.
All Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Ministerial staff, staff working for a Parliamentary Secretary, staff of public sector agencies and Government Members of Parliament and their staff must comply with the Code. Among other things, the Code provides that Government representatives must not permit lobbying by a professional lobbyist unless the lobbyist is listed on the Register of Lobbyists and has disclosed certain information in his or her initial contact with the Government representative. The Register of Lobbyists is available on the Department of Premier and Cabinet's website (www.dpc.nsw.gov.au
Breaches of the Lobbyist Code should be reported to the Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Ministers should note that the Ministerial Code of Conduct has been amended to expressly require Ministers to comply with the Lobbyist Code. The other Codes of Conduct that apply to Ministerial staff, staff working for a Parliamentary Secretary, staff of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and senior public servants have also been amended to expressly require compliance with the Lobbyist Code. This means that a breach of the Lobbyist Code by persons to whom those Codes of Conduct apply will also constitute a breach of the relevant Code of Conduct.
The Model Code of Conduct for all public sector agencies has also been amended to include a requirement that all staff employed, engaged or contracted to public sector agencies must comply with the Lobbyist Code. From 1 February 2009, when the Lobbyist Code comes into force, compliance with the Lobbyist Code is to be a requirement of all public sector agencies' Codes of Conduct. Chief Executives of public sector agencies should promptly take all necessary steps to update their agency's Code of Conduct to expressly include this provision. Government representatives should ensure that they are aware of their obligations under the Code. To assist in that process, the Department of Premier and Cabinet has developed an e-learning module on the Code and Register which is available at www.dpc.nsw.gov.au
. All staff should be encouraged to undertake the module and it should be incorporated into the induction program for new staff going forward.
The obligations in the Lobbyist Code are additional to and complement the obligations which have already been imposed on public officials to ensure that lobbying is conducted appropriately. These include, in particular, the obligations set out in Memorandum 2006-01 (Guidelines for Managing Lobbyists and Corruption Allegations Made During Lobbying). Attachment B to Memorandum 2006-01 (Protocol for the Management of Corruption Allegations Made to Ministers, Ministerial Staff or Public Officials During Lobbying) should now be read subject to, and in light of, Memorandum 2008-26 (Obligation on Ministers to Report).
This memorandum should be read in conjunction with Memorandum 2006-01 and Memorandum 2008-26.