What happens if I fail to comply with the Act?
Because the Lobbyists Commissioner is endowed with the necessary powers, he can, of his own accord or on request, carry out inspections and inquiries if he has reasonable grounds to believe that a lobbyist fails to abide by the provisions of the Act or of the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists.
When the Commissioner finds that a lobbyist has neglected his obligations, the latter becomes liable to disciplinary measures, penal sanctions or civil suits. For example:
In short, a lobbyist who does not comply with the Act, can:
- the Commissioner can forbid him to register in the Lobbyists Registry or have his registration crossed off for a maximum period of one year;
- the Commissioner can submit an inquiry report to the Attorney General;
- the Attorney General can claim from the lobbyist the value of any compensation he has received or which is payable to him, as a result of his nonobservance;
- the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions can also institute proceedings that carry fines ranging between $500 to $25,000.
- damage his credibility in the eyes of his peers as well as in the eyes of public office holders and public opinion in general;
- undermine the trust of citizens in their institutions.
To learn about the disciplinary measures that can be imposed by the Lobbyists Commissioner or the penal sanctions that may result from legal action initiated by the Lobbyists Commissioner or those resulting from legal action initiated by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, see sections 53 to 65 of the Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Act