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1) Any person who contacts Designated Public Officials (DPOs) about the zoning or development of land is lobbying under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.
2) DPOs include county councillors, TDs, Senators and senior council officials.
3) Communications outside the formal application process about local authority development plans, rezoning requests, planning variances etc. count as lobbying.
4) Emails, phone calls, meetings, even tweets can count as lobbying. So can casual conversations and indirect contacts through friends or associates.
5) Anyone lobbying must register and make returns to the Register of Lobbying. It’s the law.
6) Not all communications are lobbying. Certain exemptions are provided in the Act, such as implementation matters or formal processes (planning applications, submissions in response to a call for submissions by a local authority).
7) Registrations and returns are completed online at www.lobbying.ie, and have to be submitted by set deadlines. Anyone lobbying in February, for example, has until 21 May to register and submit their returns.
8) It is an offence to lobby without registering or to fail to submit your return by the deadline. Consequences include fines or even imprisonment.
9) The Standards Commission has published guidelines on lobbying in relation to zoning or development. These are available on www.lobbying.ie
10) The website is an excellent source for more information, including videos, sample returns, and the Three Step Test to see if you are lobbying – go check it out!
Still unsure if you need to register?
Contact the Commission’s Lobbying Regulation Unit on 01-6395722 or by email at [email protected] They can answer any questions you have!
LOBBYING.IE | COIMISIÚN UM CHAIGHDEÁIN IN OIFIGÍ POIBLÍ | STANDARDS IN PUBLIC OFFICE COMMISSION 18 SRÁID LÍOSAIN ÍOCHTARACH, BAILE ÁTHA CLIATH 2 | 18 LOWER LEESON STREET, DUBLIN 2 TELEPHONE: +353 1 639 5722 EMAIL: [email protected] WWW.LOBBYING.IE