Determining Government Funding
The Integrity Commissioner as the Lobbyists Registrar maintains an online public record of lobbyists and conducts investigations into non-compliance with the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998 (LRA).
The LRA requires lobbyists to provide information about government funding. This Bulletin provides guidance on how to determine and input government funding received by the employers of in-house lobbyists or clients of consultant lobbyists into the Ontario Lobbyists Registry.
The Integrity Commissioner as the Lobbyists Registrar uses the definition of “public funds” set out in section 1 of the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010 (BPSAA) as a guide to determine if entities (employers or clients of a lobbyist) receive government funding for the purposes of the LRA. This means lobbyists must disclose if their employers or clients receive any money from any level of government or its agencies through a grant or transfer payment or other funding arrangement, other than the following:
-money that is paid for the provision of goods or services;
-money that is paid under a fee for service arrangement; or
-money that is provided by way of a loan or loan guarantee.
Recent amendments to the LRA clarify that a lobbyist should only enter funding received during the government’s fiscal year that precedes the filing of the registration. The registration must list funding from each level of government (municipal, provincial and federal). For provincial funding the registration must indicate the ministry, department, program or agency that provides the funding. Registrations should be updated if there is a change (increase or decrease) in the amount of government funding, no later than 30 days after the change occurs.
This Bulletin applies to the following types of lobbyists:
-in-house lobbyists (organizations) and (persons and partnerships)
This Interpretation Bulletin considers the following sections of the LRA: s. 4(4) paragraph 6; s. 4(5); s.5(3) paragraph 6; s. 5(4); s. 6(3) paragraph 5, and, s. 6(3.1);
This Interpretation Bulletin also considers the following sections of the BPSAA: s.1 “public funds”.
-First issued: October 28, 2011
-Amended on: July 1, 2016
The Registrar may issue an interpretation bulletin with respect to the enforcement, interpretation or application of the LRA as set out in section 15 of the LRA. It is intended solely to provide information and is not a substitute for independent legal advice. This Bulletin is not a binding statement of how the legislation will be interpreted or applied in a particular circumstance. Final interpretation of the law is the responsibility of the courts.