Lobbying rules changed by Congress, new requirements enacted

March 24, 2008

As of Jan. 1, new federal ethics and lobbying rules went into effect following an update of legislation by Congress. Both the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Congressional Gift Rules regulations have been changed to tighten ethics and lobbying rules. The changes alter the way the University reports its lobbying activities to the federal government. As a registered lobbying entity, Penn State now must file a federal lobbying report quarterly instead of semi-annually. There also are more stringent rules regarding gifts (meals, entertainment and anything else of value) and travel.

Recently, Penn State’s Office of Governmental Relations sent an e-mail memo to University employees outlining the new regulations and reporting requirements.  University employees who interact with federal policymakers should read and become more familiar with the new rules.  More information on the new regulations as well as information on what activities are considered lobbying can be found at http://www.govt.psu.edu/federallobbying.html.

To ensure compliance with the University's federal reporting requirements, all University faculty and staff who participate in federal lobbying activities for the University must report all time and expenses related to these activities to the Office of Governmental Affairs. This information will then be used to report the University’s activities and total federal lobbying expenses to Congress.

The first deadline to submit federal lobbying activities and expenses is Monday, March 31, for activities for the reporting period of Jan. 1 - March 31, 2008. Future reports will then be due on the final day of every quarter.

The Office of Governmental Affairs has developed a form to assist in reporting federal lobbying activities and expenses on the University's behalf. This form can be downloaded from our office web site listed above. In addition, Penn State Policy AD50, ("Contact with State and Federal Officials and Official Visits by Government Agencies") can be found at www.govt.psu.edu.

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Last Updated February 28, 2012