The Department of Premier and Cabinet has reviewed the Lobbying of Government Officials Act 2011 (NSW) (the Act) on behalf of the Premier as required by section 24 of the Act. The aim of the review is to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives.
Submissions were invited from:
- the Independent Commission Against Corruption (the ICAC),
- the author of each submission made in 2015 on the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the Lobbying of Government Officials (Code of Conduct) Regulation 2014 (the Regulation), and
- all registered lobbyists.
A Discussion Paper was released for public comment on the Department’s website and the NSW Government “Have your say” website in January with a closing date for submissions of 24 February 2017. The Discussion Paper calling for submissions was also publicly advertised in early February. The Department received 12 submissions in response to the Discussion Paper.
The review also gave further consideration to the six submissions (mostly from the same stakeholders) received in 2015 during the RIS consultation.
The report on the outcome of the review will be tabled in each House of Parliament.
The policy objectives of the Act are considered to be to increase transparency and enhance regulation of lobbying by:
- providing a legislative basis for the regulation of lobbying;
- applying a Code of Conduct on all lobbyists;
- establishing the Electoral Commission as an independent regulator of lobbyists;
- enabling the independent regulator to investigate alleged breaches of the Code and legislation and impose sanctions;
- banning lobbyist success fees; and
- restricting lobbying by former Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.
The Act can be viewed on the NSW legislation website.