Penn State reminds employees of federal and state lobbying disclosure laws

February 10, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — To help the University meet its lobbying disclosure obligations under state and federal laws, Penn State employees who have contact with state or federal officials on behalf of the University must notify the Office of Government and Community Relations and submit documentation of their lobbying activities and associated time and expenses, pursuant to Penn State Policy AD50.

This information is required by state and federal lobbying disclosure laws and is reported quarterly by Penn State to the U.S. Congress and the Pennsylvania Department of State. The following information outlines federal and state lobbying activities that must be included in the University's quarterly report.

Of note, it is not considered a lobbying activity if an employee is asked to testify before a legislative committee or respond to a request for information. However, University employees are strongly encouraged to notify the Office of Government and Community Relations of such a request, as staff are able to provide assistance.

Federal

Participation in federal lobbying activities requires completion of the Federal Lobbying Contact and Expense Reporting Form, which must be submitted to Amanda Wintersteen, director of federal relations, immediately following such activities. Federal lobbying activities include contact in person, in writing or by phone with certain legislative and executive branch officials made on behalf of the University.

Faculty and staff are reminded that federal funds may not be expended for lobbying purposes. Additional details and frequently asked questions regarding federal lobbying on behalf of the University, including the rules of the House and the Senate regarding gifts and travel, can be found online at https://www.govt.psu.edu/federal-lobbying-disclosure-act/.

State

Participation in state lobbying activities requires the completion of the appropriate reporting forms, PLDA 1 and PLDA 2, which must be submitted to Mary Ann Chavey, executive assistant in the Office of Government and Community Relations, immediately following such activities.

Form PLDA 1 is used to track lobbying expenses incurred on account of lobbying efforts undertaken on behalf of Penn State. Any time an employee engages in lobbying on behalf of Penn State, a completed Form PLDA 1 must be forwarded to Government and Community Relations along with documents to substantiate any expenses related to the lobbying activity. Employees engaged in influencing agency contract considerations on behalf of Penn State also are required to complete Form PLDA 1.

Form PLDA 2 must be completed any time an item of value, such as a gift, meal or transportation, is provided to a senator, representative, member of the executive branch, or other state official, employee or their immediate family, on behalf of Penn State.

Additional details about the Pennsylvania Lobbying Disclosure Act can be found online at https://www.govt.psu.edu/pennsylvania-lobbying-disclosure-act/.

Personal contact with state and federal officials

In addition to reporting obligations for lobbying activities conducted on behalf of Penn State, employees are reminded that contacts with government officials and staff of a personal nature must be made in the name of the individual making the contact or on behalf of a professional society, and shall not imply that the contact is being made on behalf of the University. University letterhead and email are not to be used in presenting personal or professional society views in such cases.

For additional information and guidance regarding contact with state and federal officials, see Policy AD50.

For questions about federal and Pennsylvania lobbying disclosure laws, and reporting responsibilities under these laws, contact the Office of Government and Community Relations at 814-865-6563 or visit https://www.govt.psu.edu/.

Last Updated February 10, 2020