Happy New Year Friends, Clients & Colleagues,
As always, I hope this brief note finds you and yours well.
This #EthicsMatters brief focuses on the new changes to Miami-Dade principal and lobbyist registration ethics and regulations to County government lobbying and Annual Lobbyist Registration due — January 15, 2022.
Recently, the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust circulated a very informative Notice of Important Changes to Miami-Dade Principal and Lobbyist Registration Ordinance as contained in the County Ethics Code — describing new obligations on principals and lobbyists.
Here are some of the more relevant changes:
- The term “principal” now includes the person, firm, corporation, or other entity receiving the benefit of the lobbying effort and on whose behalf the lobbyist is lobbying, even if the lobbyist is retained, engaged, or employed by a different third party.
- All principal authorizations must be filed annually.
- All principal authorizations filed prior to December 2021 will be deactivated on Jan. 15, 2022.
- Lobbyists and the entities they lobby on behalf of are now required to identify the issue of the lobbying.
- Lobbyists do this in the registration process and should update their online registration information now if they did not identify an issue for each of their clients, principals, or employers.
- Principals do this when they authorize lobbyists to advocate on their behalf and should update their online authorization information now if they did not identify the specific issue, agenda item or procurement that each lobbyist is authorized on.
- “General representation” is no longer permitted as an issue.
- Lobbyists must file annual expenditure reports, even if they had no reportable lobbying expenditures in the prior year.
- The report must list all lobbying expenditures over $25 and must be signed under oath and submitted to the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners is due on July 1, 2022.
It is critically important to follow these regulations carefully — for more information visit the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust and the Clerk of the Board websites.
Warmest personal regards,
Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq.