“Lobbying or lobbying activities” means a communication, by any means, from a lobbyist to certain government decision makers regarding an item that will foreseeably be decided, which communication seeks to influence, convince, or persuade support or opposition for the item. It is not on-the-record communications at duly-noticed public meetings or hearings.
A “lobbyist” is a person retained (with or without compensation) to lobby or who is employed principally to lobby for his or her employer. An official or employee who communicates in his or her official capacity, or someone who communicates on his or her own behalf or for his or her employer (unless principally employed to lobby) is not a lobbyist.
All lobbyists are subject to registration and disclosure requirements, and prohibitions against gift-giving.
In addition, public officials and employees who lobby are subject to lobbying restrictions and may be required to disclose their clients.
Those who lobby Broward County and its 31 municipalities are governed by the State Code of Ethics (Chapter 112 of the Florida Statutes), the Broward County Lobbyist Registration Act (Section 1-260 of the Broward County Code of Ordinances), and any applicable municipal ordinances. Broward’s elected county and municipal officials must adhere to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Elected Officials (Section 1-19 of the Broward County Code of Ordinances) that apply to lobbying and receiving gifts from lobbyists and providers.
In addition to other laws, lobbyists are expected to abide by laws relating to:
- Gift Giving and Reporting
- Conflicts of Interest
- Registration for Lobbying Activity
- Reporting Contacts
Click on the links below to see ethics laws applicable to providers and lobbyists:
- State Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees (F.S. 112.313(14), post-service lobbying; F.S. 112.3145(4), client reporting; and F.S. 112.3148, gift giving, receiving, and reporting)
- Broward County Lobbyist Registration Act (See Part II, Chapter I, Article XIII, Sec. 1-260 et seq.)
- Broward County Employee Code of Ethics (See Part II, Chapter 26, Article V, Secs. 26-73, 26-76, and 26-77)
Most municipalities and Broward County require advance lobbyist registration. These municipal laws address lobbyists and lobbying:
You may find the OIG’s training supplements on the subjects of Officials and Employees Accepting and Reporting Gifts and Lobbyists and Lobbying to be helpful.