A number of changes to the regulation of lobbying in New South Wales have been made to improve the transparency of Government decision making and to help restore confidence in NSW Government integrity. This Memorandum explains and implements the following changes:
The Lobbying of Government Officials Act 2011 makes it a criminal offence to pay or receive a success fee for lobbying.
The NSW Government Lobbyist Code of Conduct (the Code) has been amended to require the Director General to remove a lobbyist from the Register if they have been found guilty of that offence and to extend the discretion to remove lobbyists from the Register in other cases.
Appointments to Government Boards or Committees
A lobbyist (as defined in the Code) and the employees, contractors or persons otherwise engaged by the lobbyist to carry out lobbying activities are ineligible for appointment to any Government Board or Committee if the functions of the Board or Committee relate to any matter on which the lobbyist (or person engaged by the lobbyist) represents the interests of third parties, or has represented the interests of third parties in the 12 months prior to the date of the proposed appointment.
Amendments to the Code reflect this policy by providing that lobbyists must not represent the interests of a third party to a Government Representative in relation to any matter that relates to the functions of the Board or Committee. The amendments also provide that a lobbyist can be removed from the Register for a breach of this requirement.
This policy applies to all NSW Government Boards and Committees, including the boards of State Owned Corporations.
Ministers should ensure that all agencies within their administration are aware of the contents of this Memorandum and comply with the Government policy on appointments to any Government Board or Committee and the requirements of the Code.
Before considering making or recommending any appointment, a Minister must ensure that his or her agency has discussed this policy with the candidate and is satisfied that the proposed appointment is consistent with the Government’s policy set out in this Memorandum.
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. All Governmentrepresentatives should ensure that they are aware of their obligations under the revised Code.
The Lobbying of Government Officials Act 2011 may be obtained from the NSW Government legislation website.
The revised Code is available on the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s website.
This Memorandum has not superseded any other Memoranda. This Memorandum should be read in conjunction with M2009-03 Lobbyist Code of Conduct and Register, M2006-01 Guidelines for Managing Lobbyists and Corruption Allegations made during Lobbying, and M2008-26 Obligation on Ministers to Report.