Instructions for Lobbyists Filing Online

Instructions for Lobbyists Filing Online

General Lobbyist Information

The information contained in these instructions is provided to assist you in registering and reporting as a lobbyist. It is not intended to supersede the Lobbying Act itself. Public Corporations and Clients should refer to the separate help instructions available On-Line.

What is a lobbyist? What is lobbying activity?

The term "lobbyist" shall mean every person or organization employed, retained, or designated by any client to engage in lobbying. The term "lobbying" or "lobbying activity" shall mean and include any attempt to influence:

(i) the passage or defeat of any legislation or resolution by either house of the state legislature, including but not limited to, the introduction or intended introduction of such legislation or resolution, or approval or disapproval of any legislation by the governor;

(ii) the adoption, issuance, rescission, modification or terms of a gubernatorial executive order;

(iii) the adoption or rejection of any rule or regulation having the force and effect of law by a state agency;

(iv) the outcome of any rate making proceeding by a state agency;

(v) any determination:

(A) by a public official, or by a person or entity working in cooperation with a public official related to a governmental procurement, or

(B) by an officer or employee of the unified court system, or by a person or entity working in cooperation with an officer or employee of the unified court system related to a governmental procurement;

(vi) the approval, disapproval, implementation or administration of tribal-state compacts, memoranda of understanding, or any other tribal-state agreements and any other state actions related to Class III gaming as provided in 25 U.S.C. §2701, except to the extent designation of such activities as "lobbying" is barred by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, by a public official or by a person or entity working in cooperation with a public official in relation to such approval, disapproval, implementation or administration;

(vii) the passage or defeat of any local law, ordinance, resolution, or regulation by any municipality or subdivision thereof;

(viii) the adoption, issuance, rescission, modification or terms of an executive order issued by the chief executive officer of a municipality;

(ix) the adoption or rejection of any rule, regulation, or resolution having the force and effect of a local law ordinance, resolution, or regulation; or

(x) the outcome of any rate making proceeding by any municipality or subdivision thereof.

What is a client?

The term "client" shall mean every person or organization who retains, employees or designates any person or organization to carry on lobbying activity on behalf of such client.

What is a state agency?

The term "state agency" shall mean any department, board, bureau, commission, division, office, council, committee or officer of the state, whether permanent or temporary, or a public benefit corporation or public authority at least one of whose members is appointed by the governor, authorized by law to make rules or to make final decision in adjudicatory proceedings but shall not include the judicial branch or agencies created by interstate compact or international agreement.

What is an organization?

The term "organization" shall mean any corporation, company, foundation, association, college as defined by Section 2 of the Education law, labor organization, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, state agency or public corporation.

What is a municipality?

The term "municipality" shall mean any jurisdictional subdivision of the state, including but not limited to counties, cities, towns, villages, improvement districts and special districts, with a population of more than fifty thousand; and industrial development agencies in jurisdictional subdivisions with a population of more than fifty thousand; and public authorities, and public corporations, but shall not include school districts.

To whom does the Act apply?

The Lobbying Act applies to lobbyists, public corporations, and clients or employees of lobbyists or clients, who in any year during the biennial period either reasonably anticipate expending, incurring, or receiving, or actually expends, incur, or receive, more than $5,000 in combined reportable compensation and expenses for lobbying activities on a state and/or local level.

When is a lobbyist required to register?

All Statements of Registration are required to be filed on a biennial basis as follows:

  • If the lobbyist has been retained, employed, or designated to lobby ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 15, and the lobbyist reasonably anticipates combined reportable compensation and expenses in excess of $5,000 for lobbying activities, the Statement of Registration must be filed BY JANUARY 1 of the first year of the biennial period.

  • If the lobbyist has been retained, employed, or designated to lobby on a date after December 15, the Statement of Registration must be filed within 15 days of such date.

In either case, the registration statement is required to be filed within the above-described time period whether or not there is a written authorization signed by the client by whom the lobbyist is authorized to lobby, or a written agreement of retainer or employment signed by both parties.

  • If the lobbyist actually incurs or receives combined compensation and expenses in excess of $5,000, the Statement of Registration must be filed within 10 days of such date.

What is a reportable business relationship?

The term "reportable business relationship" shall mean a relationship in which compensation is paid by a lobbyist or by a client of a lobbyist, in exchange for any goods, services or anything of value, the total value of which is in excess of $1,000 annually, to be performed or provided by or intended to be performed or provided by:

(i) any statewide elected official, state officer, state employee, member of the legislature or legislative employee, or

(ii) any entity in which the lobbyist or the client of a lobbyist knows or has reason to know the statewide elected official, state officer, state employee, member of the legislature or legislative employee is a proprietor, partner, director, officer or manager, or owns or controls ten percent or more of the stock of such entity. This threshold is reduced to one percent in the case of a corporation whose stock is regularly traded on an established securities exchange.

What is a widely attended event?

The term "widely attended event" shall mean an event:

(A) which at least twenty-five individuals other than members, officers, or employees from the governmental entity in which the public official serves, attends, or were, in good faith, invited to attend, and

(B) which is either related to the attendee's duties or responsibilities, or allows the public official to perform a ceremonial function appropriate to his or her position.

Instructions for Lobbyist User ID Requests

If you will be filing online for the first time, you will need to apply for a User ID before you can file your Lobbyist Registration and Bi-monthly reports online. Go to www.jcope.ny.gov and click on the Lobbyist Registration and Reporting button. Select the New Users Click here button and then click on Request New Lobbyist User ID.

Principal lobbyist name: If the principal lobbyist is an organization, type in the organization's name. If the principal lobbyist is an individual, type in the format: last name, first name.

PLEASE NOTE: You must report the full legal name of the lobbyist. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms.

Responsible person: The User ID and Password will be issued to the person responsible for filing the Lobbyist Registration and Bimonthly Reports. In the case of an organization, this person is the organization's chief administrative officer.

PLEASE NOTE—THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER MAY DESIGNATE ANOTHER TO FILE THE REPORTS, BUT THIS DESIGNATION DOES NOT RELIEVE THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OF LIABILITY DUE TO A FAILURE TO FILE, LATE FILING OR FALSE FILING OF ANY REPORT(S).

Additional Lobbyists: If the Principal lobbyist is a retained individual or organization, all other lobbyists employed by such retained organization or individual may be listed as additional lobbyists on this request. If the principal lobbyist is an employee of the client, only those lobbyists employed by such client may be listed as additional lobbyists on this request. As an alternative, separate User ID Requests can be filed by each employee lobbyist. Do not list a separately retained lobbyist on an employed lobbyist User ID Request; he/she must file a separate request.

After you have completed and submitted this form, you will be directed to print and sign an application form that must be NOTARIZED and mailed to the Commission before you will receive your User ID and Password.

Your User ID and temporary password will be sent to the e-mail you have provided on your application. Please be sure your e-mail is correct before you hit the submit button.

PLEASE NOTE: Keep your User ID and Password in a safe place. Do not reveal your Password to anyone, including Commission Staff. Commission Staff do not have knowledge of or access to your Password.

Password Requirements:

Remember that the password you submit must meet the following criteria:

  • It should contain 8 characters
  • Include one Upper, one Lower and one Numeric character
  • Password is case sensitive
  • Password may not contain spaces or special characters
  • You cannot reuse the last 5 passwords

If you don't remember your password, just follow these simple steps.

  1. Type your user ID in the box on the login screen.
  2. Click on the forgotten password link under the username and password.
  3. Provide the correct answers to 3 security questions. When complete hit finish and a temporary password will appear on your screen.
  4. Login with your temporary password and the system will then automatically require you to create a new password.

If you cannot remember the answers to your secret questions please contact the Commission via Phone: (518) 408-3976 or email helpdesk@jcope.ny.gov

It is easy to change your password, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Login to the application using your current username (LB#####) and password.
  2. Click on the Change password link located on the right side of the page.
  3. Create your password meeting the password criteria indicated below.
  4. Click finish when completed and a confirmation message that you have successfully changed your password will appear on the screen.

Instructions for Lobbyist Profile Update Form

You must use this form to update the profile information you provided for your User ID request. Upon approval, these changes will automatically be applied to any future registration(s)/bimonthly reports you file. Please be advised that when you submit a profile update you cannot submit any required reports until the profile update has been approved.

  • An explanation of all changes must be noted in the comment box.

  • Changes made to the principal lobbyist name will be subject to Commission approval and may need additional documentation.

  • Changes made to the responsible person name will require that a new electronic filing authorization form/application be printed and signed by the new person and submitted to the Commission office prior to approval. This form must also be NOTARIZED. The Commission suggests that you change your password when the responsible person has changed. (See instructions for changing your password).

  • Changes made to additional lobbyists (additions or removals) will only be applied to new registrations and their respective bimonthly reports. In order to effectively add or modify the name of an additional lobbyist in an existing registration and its associated bimonthly reports, you must also amend each existing registration and if applicable, each existing bimonthly report. In order to remove an additional lobbyist from an existing registration you must go to the Lobbyist Registration Termination Tab found in the Lobbyist Registration View.

Principal Lobbyist Name Change:

If you have any changes to make to the principal lobbyist name you must go to the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu. Click on add new profile update and click on name change under the principal lobbyist name field to be forwarded to the next screen. Select from the drop down box which year the change should take effect and enter the new principal lobbyist name. Changes made to the principal lobbyist name will be subject to Commission approval and may need additional documentation. Please be advised that when you submit a profile update you cannot submit any required reports until the profile update has been approved.

Instructions for On-Line Lobbyist Registration

The Lobbying Act requires public disclosure of the identities, activities, and expenditures of lobbyists. Every lobbyist that reasonably anticipates incurring, expending, or receiving more than $5,000 in combined reportable compensation and expenses for lobbying activity on a state and/or local level in any year during the biennial period is required to file a biennial Statement of Registration with the Commission, regardless of when they reach the threshold during the biennial period.

The following are not required to register:

  • Individual persons who lobby or petition the state or local government, or any agency thereof, solely on their own behalf, for the redress of grievances and to express freely to appropriate officials their opinions on legislative and governmental operations.

  • Any officer, director, trustee, employee, counsel, or agent of the State of New York or any municipality or subdivision thereof of New York, who lobbies on behalf of same, when discharging his or her official duties; however, an officer, director, trustee, employee, counsel or agent of a college, as defined by Section 2 of the Education Law, must register if he or she meets the requirements of the Lobbying Act. (See separate instructions and forms for Public Corporations. Please note that retained lobbyists of Public Corporations must file a Lobbyist Statement of Registration.)

For further details on procurement lobbying exemptions, see §1-c(c)(A-Q).

Principal Lobbyist Information: If any of the principal lobbyist information changes, you must make changes to your Lobbyist Profile through the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu.

Can More than one lobbyist register on one form?

If the principal lobbyist is a retained individual or organization, all other lobbyist employee by such retained organization or individual may be listed as additional lobbyists on the registration. If the principal lobbyist is an employee of the client, only those lobbyist employed by such client may be listed as additional lobbyists. As an alternative, separate registrations can be filed by each lobbyist.

IMPORTANT: If you will be registering for a client who retains or employs other independently registered lobbyists, you must register using the same exact client name. Registering with variations of the same client name will cause the Commission to send our delinquent report notices and may subject you to an assessment of a civil penalty fine.

Additional Lobbyists: Only names listed on your Lobbyist Profile form will appear in this section of your registration. You should review this list to make sure it is current prior to filling in your registration. Click “remove” to delete any lobbyist(s) who will not be lobbying for this client for this registration period. To add additional lobbyist(s), you must go to the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu.

Client Name: You should review the list of client names in the Commission's database. If you select from a client currently in the database, all client fields will populate. Please review this information to ensure it is accurate and make any changes that are necessary. If your client is not in the Commission's database, you must report the full legal name of the client. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms. In the case of a client that begins with “New York” or “New York State,” list “New York” or “New York State” in parenthesis after the rest of the client name. Examples: “New York Association of Counties” is listed as “Association of Counties (NY)”; “New York State Sheriff's Association” is listed as “Sheriff's Association (NYS)”.

Agreement or written authorizations:

A copy of a signed, written lobbying agreement or written authorization must be submitted with each registration. Such agreement must specify the period of the year or biennial period covered and must disclose the terms and amount of compensation. If the lobbyist is retained by the organization, the actual compensation must be reported. If the retainer is based on a daily or hourly rate, the fee per day or per hour must be reported. If the lobbyist is a salaried employee of the organization, the lobbyist's prorated salary for lobbying activity must be reported.

A registration statement submitted without the required agreement or written authorization to lobby from the client is incomplete. A lobbyist who files an incomplete registration may be subject to a late fee or civil penalty.

If you do not have a written lobbying agreement, a written authorization, signed by the chief administrative officer of the client or employer, may be substituted and must be submitted together with a written summary of your oral agreement. The terms and amounts of your compensation or salary must be disclosed. Authorizations that are not signed by the Chief Administrative Officer of the client will not be accepted.

Please note: Any registration submitted to the Commission that is not complete (i.e., no Lobbyist Statement of Registration (Amendment) form, no authorization, no signature, no registration fee) will be returned and will not extend the due date for submission.

A lobbyist may not engage in lobbying activity or receive compensation prior to filing a complete registration, and registration is not complete until an executed copy of the written agreement or a written authorization is filed with the Commission.

On-line lobbyists have the option of either mailing in a copy of the signed agreement or authorization or uploading a scanned copy of the signed agreement or authorization to attach to their filing. A mailed-in agreement or authorization must have the registration confirmation number written on the top page. Agreements or authorizations can be uploaded during the completion of the individual registration or through the “Manage Contracts” section of the Lobbyist menu.

This menu can be used to upload signed lobbying agreements or authorizations that have been scanned into your computer as a file. It is suggested, that when scanning, you name the file using the following extension: .tif.

If you will be submitting more than one registration, it is suggested that you use this menu first to upload all of your agreements or authorizations. Then, as you complete each registration on-line, you can select and assign from the previously uploaded and unassigned agreement or authorization files.

Declaration: If the individual responsible for filing the registration and reports on behalf of the principal lobbyist has changed, you must inform the Commission prior to submitting your filing by updating the Lobbyist Profile through the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu.

REGISTRATION FEE: ALL FEE PAYMENTS ARE NONREFUNDABLE UPON SUBMISSION OF YOUR REGISTRATION FORM

Fee Schedule:

A $200 non-refundable registration fee (payable in U.S. dollars) is required to be submitted with each Lobbyist Statement of Registration filed for the biennial period that a lobbyist reasonably anticipates exceeding $5,000 in compensation and expenses for any year in the biennial period. No registration fee is required to be submitted with a biennial Lobbyist Statement of Registration if the lobbyist will not exceed $5,000 in compensation and expenses for that client. Any biennial Lobbyist Statement of Registration submitted after January 1 of the second year of the biennial period shall be accompanied by a prorated registration fee of $100 (payable in U.S. dollars).

Please note: This proration does not apply to biennial Lobbyist Registrations that are filed late and cover the entire biennial period or a portion of both years within the biennial period. In this case, a $200 fee is due at the time of submission. In general, no fee is required for an amended biennial Statement of Registration, provided an original is on file for that same biennial period. However, if subsequent to the filing of a biennial Statement of Registration for which no fee was submitted, the lobbyist later exceeds the $5,000 threshold, an amended biennial registration must be filed within 10 days accompanied by a $200 registration fee (or a $100 fee in the case where a prorated fee is applicable).

PAYMENT MODE: REGISTRATION FEES MAY BE PAID BY CREDIT CARD OR BY CHECK.

Credit Card Payment: You may choose to pay your fee online with Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Please review the rate schedule carefully since all fees are nonrefundable.

Check Payment: You must type in your check or money order number on your registration form. Upon receiving your confirmation number for your registration, you must write this number on your check to facilitate processing. A fee may be charged for a returned check.

Credit Card Payments — For security purposes the application will only permit two attempts at paying for your filing by credit card. After the second failed attempt you will need to pay by check. Make sure you select the pay by check option at the bottom of your form, type in your check or money order number before submitting.

Any filing fees paid by check must be paid separately from other filings; i.e., one check per filing, made payable to the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Any check that includes filing fees for more than one report will be returned to you by the Commission. This is necessary to facilitate the Commission's online lobbying application. Filing fees may still be paid online with Visa, MasterCard or American Express. A fee may be charged for a returned check.

Miscellaneous: Your registration application will not be approved until the Commission receives your registration fee (if applicable) and agreement or authorization.

To facilitate processing and approval time, please write your confirmation number on your check (if not paying by credit card) and agreements or written authorizations(if not uploading) and mail promptly to the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, 540 Broadway, Albany, New York 12207.

How is a "reportable business relationship" reported on the Registration?

Section 1-e(c)(8) requires the following be reported:

  • The name and public office address of any statewide elected official, state officer or employee, member of the legislature or legislative employee and entity with whom the lobbyist has a reportable business relationship;

  • A description of the general subject or subjects of the transactions between the lobbyist or lobbyists and the statewide elected official, state officer or employee, member of the legislature or legislative employee or entity; and

  • The compensation, including expenses, to be paid and paid by virtue of the business relationship.

If you are subject to the requirements of this Section, a 'Business Relationship' form must be submitted each biennial period. The information submitted on this form will appear on each registration (and/or amendment) after the initial submission. (This includes all approved and 'new' registrations.) (SEE On-Demand Video Tutorial for more detailed instruction.)

Miscellaneous information to assist with the Lobbyist Business Relationship Form

(i) Business Relationship forms are submitted once per biennial period.

(ii) If a lobbyist attempts to file a Business Relationship form, and the desired year is not available from the drop down box, this means there is already a Business Relationship form filed for that biennial period. A lobbyist may add or change existing entries by filing a Business Relationship amendment.

(iii) Forms and any data entered on the form can only be deleted prior to submission. .

(iv) Business Relationship information will appear on the Lobbyist Registration as a tab under 'client information'. If a Business Relationship form has not been submitted, a message will appear under this tab that states "No Business Relationship Form Submitted."

(v) Lobbyists must go to the main menu and select the Business Relationship tab to file the initial form and any subsequent amendments. Any changes to the form will be applied to approved and new registrations filed for that biennial period.

(vi) A Business Relationship form can be filed prior to the submission of a Lobbyist Registration.

How are bill numbers and information relative to the introduction or intended introduction of legislation or a resolution reported on a Registration and Bimonthly Reports??

You should report only those numbers that you anticipate you will lobby on during the registration period. Legislation or a resolution that has not yet been introduced (no number to disclose) should be reported in this section by giving a brief description of the intended legislation or resolution. Bills introduced and lobbied on subsequent to registration must be reported on the appropriate bimonthly reports. Similarly, information relative to the introduction of a bill, and the introduction or intended introduction of legislation or a resolution, subsequent to registration, must be reported on the appropriate bimonthly reports. In order to expedite data entry of large numbers of data items in these fields, you may choose to copy and paste from another document into these fields.

When reporting bill numbers, please indicate if the bill number is a Senate or Assembly number by inserting an "S" or an "A" at the beginning of the number.

(See copy and paste directions at the bottom of these Lobbyist Instructions.)

Instructions for Lobbyist On-Line Registration Amendment Form

If any of the information contained in your registration changes during the biennial period, including the lobbying agreement, a Lobbyist Registration Amendment form must be completed and filed within 10 days of the change. This amendment must include the name of the lobbyist and client, the new or changed information, and must be signed by the lobbyist, or designee if applicable.

PLEASE NOTE: An amendment is required for a CAO change. In either case, a lobbying entity or a client, if a lobbying agreement is executed by a corporate officer for a corporation or LLC, the fact that the CAO has changed does not invalidate the agreement. However, it does require the filer to amend their filings to notify the Commission of this change.

Please note: Pre-filled information from the lobbyist User ID Request form that makes up the Lobbyist profile, (i.e., lobbyist name, address and responsible person), can only be changed by going to the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu.

Since changes to Type of Lobbying, Level of Government, Type of Lobbyist, Client Name, Third Party Name and Agreement/Authorization fields require Commission approval, you must provide a detailed explanation of changes made to these fields in the Comments box.

Registration Amendment Form Fee Schedule: Please read the following information carefully to determine if you are required to submit a fee with your amendment.

ALL FEE PAYMENTS ARE NONREFUNDABLE UPON SUBMISSION OF YOUR AMENDED REGISTRATION FORM:

In general, no fee is required for an amended biennial Statement of Registration, provided an original is on file for that same biennial period. However, if subsequent to the filing of a biennial Statement of Registration for which no fee was submitted, the lobbyist later exceeds the $5,000 threshold, an amended biennial registration must be filed within 10 days accompanied by a $200 registration fee ($100 in the case where a prorated fee is applicable - See Registration Fee Schedule).

Payment mode: You may pay by check or credit card, if filing online.

Check Payments: You must type in your check number or money order number on your amendment form. Upon receiving your confirmation number for your registration, you must write this number on your check to facilitate processing. A fee may be charged for a returned check.

Credit Card Payments: You may choose to pay online with Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Please review rate schedule and choose amount carefully since fees are NONREFUNDABLE. For security purposes the application will only permit two attempts at paying for your filing by credit card. After the second failed attempt you will need to pay by check. Make sure you select the pay by check option at the bottom of your form, type in your check or money order number before submitting.

Instructions for On-Line Lobbyist Registration Termination Form

Section 1-g of the Lobbying Act requires written notification of the terms of the termination from both the lobbyist and the client within thirty (30) days after the lobbyist ceases lobbying activity. In addition, both parties must still file all required reports by their statutory due dates, reporting all lobbying activity up to the effective date of termination. No notice need be filed if the termination of retainer, employment, or designation takes effect at the end of the biennial registration period.

A lobbyist termination form must also be submitted within 30 days of the termination of any additional lobbyist listed on your registration form. This will remove such lobbyist from all new bimonthly reports for this client in the remainder of the registration. In order to terminate an additional lobbyist from all future registration forms, you must remove the additional lobbyist from your profile by completing a Profile Update form in the “Manage Profile” section of the lobbyist menu.

No notice need be filed if the termination of retainer, employment, or designation takes effect at the end of the biennial registration period.

What is required if a termination has been filed, but lobbying resumes during the biennial registration period?

A written or emailed request may be submitted to the Commission requesting withdrawal of an approved termination. Such request must be signed/submitted by the responsible person, designated person, or registered lobbyist. Once the termination is 'withdrawn' (rejected), an amended Lobbyist Statement of Registration form must be completed and filed within 10 days of the change, in addition to the 'new' written agreement or written authorization, or agreement from the client.

IMPORTANT: In general, no filing fee is required for an amended biennial Statement of Registration, provided an original is on file for that same biennial period. (i.e., if the registration filing fee has already been paid for this client for this biennial period, it is not necessary to pay the registration filing fee again.)

Instructions for On-line Lobbyist Bimonthly Report Form

Any lobbyist, required to file a Statement of Registration for a client for any biennial period, must also file a bimonthly report by the 15th day of the month following the end of the bimonthly reporting period in which the lobbyist was first required to register. Subsequent bimonthly reports must be filed by the 15th day of the month following the end of each subsequent bimonthly period thereafter.

Please note: There is NO minimum threshold requirement for filing any Lobbyist Bimonthly Report. Consequently, all Lobbyist Bimonthly Reports are required to be filed for a registration period. Expense and compensation boxes should be completed with zeros for such periods.

Bimonthly Reports may be submitted online even though you have not received approval from the Commission for your online registration.

Can a Lobbyist Bimonthly Report be withdrawn after submission?

Bimonthly Reports filed showing $0 in compensation/expenses, no lobbying activity, and whose agreements/authorizations have 'expired', may be requested to be withdrawn by the lobbyist unilaterally (confirmation from the client is not required). Such request must be signed and/or submitted via email by the responsible person, designated person, or registered lobbyist. A bimonthly report that has been amended to remove compensation and/or lobbying activity requires client confirmation for withdrawal.

There are twelve reporting periods per biennial reporting period:

  • January 1 — last day of February (Report is due March 15)
  • March 1 — April 30 (Report is due May 15)
  • May 1 — June 30 (Report is due July 15)
  • July 1 — August 31 (Report is due September 15)
  • September 1 — October 31 (Report is due November 15)
  • November 1 — December 31 (Report is due January 15)

Principal Lobbyist Information:

If you have any changes to make to the pre-filled principal lobbyist information, you must go to the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu.

Additional Lobbyists:

All additional lobbyists listed in your Registration Form or amendments will automatically appear in this part of the bimonthly report. You should review this list and delete the names of any individuals who did not actually lobby during this period by clicking on the “remove” button beside their name. This will delete the name for this period only, not permanently. If any of these lobbyists are no longer lobbying for the principal lobbyist, you must permanently remove their name from the Registration by going to the Registration Termination Form in the “Main Menu” section of the Lobbyist Menu.

If after reviewing the list of additional lobbyists, you need to add new additional lobbyists, you will need to amend your registration for this client by going to your “Lobbyist Registration View Menu.”

Client Information:

If you have any changes to make to the client information, you will need to amend your registration for this client by going to your Lobbyist Registration View Menu.

Compensation:

“Reportable Compensation” shall mean and include any salary, fee, gift, payment, benefit, loan, advance, or any other thing of value paid, owed, given, or promised to the lobbyist by the client, or employer, for lobbying. For reporting purposes, “Reportable Compensation” shall include any such compensation paid or owed to the lobbyist for the purpose of lobbying. Such report must include all salaries and other compensation paid to staff such as those of lobbying employees or clerical help. All reportable compensation in any form must be recorded during the calendar year when it was accrued.

Reportable expenses are any expenditure incurred by or reimbursed to the lobbyist for the purpose of lobbying. Reportable expenses may include items which, in and of themselves, do not constitute lobbying, but when used as part of a lobbying effort become reportable expenses. Examples reviewed under the definition are non inclusive and practitioners are encouraged to request Commission clarification prior to completing their reports.

Reportable expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Advertising, telephone, electronic advocacy, food, beverages, tickets, entertainment, parties, receptions or similar events, advocacy rallies, consultant services, expenses for non-lobbying support staff, and courier services when said expenses are part of a lobbying effort.

  • Any item that is exempt as a gift in Section 1 (c)(j) of the Lobbying Act must be reported if it is part of your lobbying effort.

What expenses are not required to be reported?

  • Expenses for political contributions pursuant to Article 14 of the Election law.

  • Payments or expenses incurred by the lobbyist for their own personal sustenance, travel, and lodging.

  • General office rent and utility expenses of the lobbyist.

  • Expenses directly incurred for printing, mailing, and reproduction of letters, memoranda, or other written communications are not reportable until such expenses exceed $500 in any calendar year; however, once this amount has been exceeded, the entire cost is reportable.

  • Ordinary membership dues paid to an organization that is registered to lobby to the extent said dues are not directed by the payor to be expended as part of the payor's lobbying effort.

All expenses must be disclosed in Lobbying Expenses, including expenses that are or will be reimbursed during the period in which they are incurred or expended. In addition, if the lobbyist receives the reimbursement for these expenses during the reporting period, they must also disclose this amount under Reimbursed Expenses.

An expense in excess of $75 must be fully identified and include the name of the person or entity to whom it was paid, as well as the purpose for which it was paid. If any portion of this expense is attributable to one individual in an amount in excess of $75, that individual's identity must be disclosed. Expenses below $75 may be reported in the aggregate.

In cases where it is not possible to determine exact dollar amounts (such as photocopying, phone bills, in-house printing and reproduction expenses), good faith estimates of such costs, based on generally accepted accounting procedures, may be used.

If I have been retained or employed to lobby on both a state and local level, how should expenses and compensation be reported?

Compensation and expenses for local and state level lobbying must be reported on the same form. At this time, the Commission is not requiring that local compensation or expenses be reported separately from state compensation and expenses.

Does a Lobbyist Bimonthly Report have to be filed if a registered lobbyist does not have any compensation or expenses for the reporting period?

The Lobbying Act requires that a report be filed by a registered lobbyist for each reporting period even if no compensation or expenses have been paid or incurred. Expense and compensation boxes should be completed with zeros for such periods.

What should the lobbyist do if a report cannot be filed by the statutory due date?

Requests for extensions of filing time can be made in writing and must be received in the Commission's office no later than two business days prior to the filing due date. Such request must contain good cause and shall be granted at the discretion of the Executive Director of the Commission.

Are lobbyists required to file Lobbyist Semi-Annual Reports?

The bimonthly reports for the periods covering May through June and November through December are considered semi-annual reports for lobbying reporting purposes. Since you are required to file bimonthly reports for each reporting period that your lobbying agreement covers, there is no separate lobbyist semi-annual report to file.

If a report is due on a weekend or a State holiday, when should the report be filed?

The report must be received in the Commission's office on the first business day following the weekend or State holiday.

Keeping and Documentation Record of Expenses:

A lobbyist must be able to document any expense of more than fifty dollars by receipt or canceled check for a period of three years from the date of filing. It is important to note that the Commission conducts random audits of filings pursuant to the Act. These audits may require lobbyists to produce books, records, papers or memoranda, and material relevant to the preparation of the selected filing. Failure to retain records as required may subject a lobbyist to a civil penalty of $2,000.

Declaration:

If the individual responsible for filing the report has changed, you must inform the Commission prior to submitting your report by updating the Lobbyist Profile through the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu.

Instructions for On-line Lobbyist Bimonthly Report Amendment

Use this form if any of the information that you provided in your bimonthly reports needs to be amended or changed after it has been submitted.

Since such changes will be reviewed and approved by the Commission, you must provide a detailed explanation of changes in the Comments Box.

Please Note: Pre-filled Principal Lobbyist information can only be changed by updating the Lobbyist Profile through the “Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu. Similarly, pre-filled Client information can only be changed by amending this registration through the “Main Menu” section of the lobbyist menu.

Additional Lobbyists: Additions and removals of names to this section will affect the bimonthly report and registration being amended by this form.

You must file a bimonthly report for each bimonthly period covered by the contract/authorization you have with your client even if no compensation or expenses have been paid, incurred or received during that period.

PLEASE NOTE:

Bimonthly Reports may be submitted online even though you have not received approval from the Commission for your online registration.

Instructions for On-line Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Bimonthly Report Form

Beginning January 1, 2008, any lobbyist required to file a Statement of Registration with the Commission who in any lobbying year reasonably anticipates that during the year they will expend, incur or receive combined reportable compensation and expenses in an amount in excess of $5,000 in connection with any attempts to influence a determination by a public official, or by a person or entity working in cooperation with a public official, with respect to the solicitation, award or administration of a grant, loan, or agreement involving the disbursement of public monies in excess of $15,000, other than a governmental procurement as defined in section 1-c, will be required to file a NYS Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Report. (Lobbying Act Section 1-l)

The reports are to be filed only by registered lobbyists, including public corporations. The threshold relates only to compensation and expenses attributable to the activities described above, and is in addition to and separate from the similar threshold for lobbyist registration.

What are “public monies”?

The Commission's Guidelines state “public monies” are funds that have been appropriated as part of a passed budget, which are designated for programs, grants or are discretionary funds, but which have not been allocated to specific recipients.

What are the reporting periods and when are the reports due?

These separate reports are required to be filed in accordance with the same schedule applicable to the filing of bimonthly reports. Unlike lobbyist and public corporation bimonthly reports required by Sections 1-h and 1-i, the NYS Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Reports are required to be filed only for bimonthly reporting periods during which the lobbyist has made any attempts to influence a public official with respect to disbursement of public monies, or receives compensation or reimbursement of expenses for such activities.

If a report is required to be filed, the schedule for filing reports is as follows:

  • January 1 - last day of February -- (Report is due March 15)
  • March 1 - April 30 -- (Report is due May 15)
  • May 1 - June 30 -- (Report is due July 15)
  • July 1 - August 31 -- (Report is due September 15)
  • September 1 - October 31 -- (Report is due November 15)
  • November 1 - December 31 -- (Report is due January 15)

What are reportable compensation and reportable expenses?

“Reportable Compensation” shall mean and include any salary, fee, gift, payment, benefit, loan, advance, or any other thing of value paid, owed, given, or promised to the lobbyist by the client, or employer, for lobbying. For reporting purposes, “Reportable Compensation” shall include any such compensation paid or owed to the lobbyist for the purpose of lobbying. Such report must include all salaries and other compensation paid to staff such as those of lobbying employees or clerical help. All reportable compensation in any form must be recorded during the calendar year when it was accrued.

“Reportable expenses” are any expenditure incurred by or reimbursed to the lobbyist for the purpose of lobbying. Reportable expenses may include items which, in and of themselves, do not constitute lobbying, but when used as part of a lobbying effort become reportable expenses. Examples reviewed under the definition are non inclusive and practitioners are encouraged to request Commission clarification prior to completing their reports.

“Reportable expenses” may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Advertising, telephone, electronic advocacy, food, beverages, tickets, entertainment, parties, receptions or similar events, advocacy rallies, consultant services, expenses for non-lobbying support staff, and courier services when said expenses are part of a lobbying effort.

  • Any item that is exempt as a gift in Section 1 (c)(j) of the Lobbying Act must be reported if it is part of your lobbying effort.

What expenses are not required to be reported?

  • Expenses for political contributions pursuant to Article 14 of the Election law.

  • Payments or expenses incurred by the lobbyist for their own personal sustenance, travel, and lodging.

  • General office rent and utility expenses of the lobbyist.

  • Expenses directly incurred for printing, mailing, and reproduction of letters, memoranda, or other written communications are not reportable until such expenses exceed $500 in any calendar year; however, once this amount has been exceeded, the entire cost is reportable.

  • Ordinary membership dues paid to an organization that is registered to lobby to the extent said dues are not directed by the payor to be expended as part of the payor's lobbying effort.

How should my expenses be reported?

All expenses must be disclosed, including expenses that are or will be reimbursed, during the period in which they are incurred or expended. In addition, if the lobbyist receives the reimbursement for these expenses during the reporting period, they must also disclose this amount under reimbursed expenses.

Can certain expenses be estimated?

Yes. In cases where it is not possible to determine exact dollar amounts (such as photocopying, phone bills, in-house printing and reproduction expenses), good faith estimates of such costs, based on generally accepted accounting procedures, may be used.

Disbursement or Person Lobbied: In order to expedite data entry of large numbers of data items in these fields, you may choose to copy and paste data from another document into these fields. You should report only the description of the grant, loan, agreement and the person, organization or legislative body you lobbied for this period.

What should the lobbyist do if a report cannot be filed by the statutory due date?

Requests for extensions of filing time can be made in writing and must be received in the Commission's office no later than two business days prior to the filing due date. Such request must contain good cause and shall be granted at the discretion of the Executive Director of the Commission.

If a report is due on a weekend or a State holiday, when should the report be filed?

The report must be received in the Commission's office on the first business day following the weekend or State holiday.

If I have been retained or employed to lobby on both a state and local level, how should expenses and compensation be reported?

Compensation and expenses for local and state level lobbying must be reported on the same form. At this time, the Commission is not requiring that local compensation or expenses be reported separately from state compensation and expenses.

Does a Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Report have to be filed if a registered lobbyist does not have any compensation or expenses for the reporting period?

Unlike lobbyist and public corporation bimonthly reports required by sections 1-h and 1-i, the NYS Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Reports are required to be filed only for bimonthly reporting periods during which the lobbyist has made any attempts to influence a public official with respect to disbursement of public monies, or receives compensation or reimbursement of expenses for such activities.

Reports are required regardless of whether the grant, loan or agreement payment is received.

No corresponding client reports are required to be filed.

What are the retention requirements for Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Bimonthly Reports?

These records should be retained for a period of three years.

Principal Lobbyist Information:

If you have any changes to make to the pre-filled principal lobbyist information, you must go to the "Manage Profile” section of the Lobbyist menu.

Additional Lobbyists:

List each individual associated with the principal lobbyist who engaged in public monies lobbying activities for this client during this period.

Client Information:

You should review the list of client names in the Commission's database. If you select from a client currently in the database, all client fields will populate. Please review this information to ensure it is accurate and make any changes that are necessary. If your client is not in the Commission's database, you must report the full legal name of the client. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms. In the case of a client that begins with "New York" or "New York State" list "New York" or "New York State" in parenthesis after the rest of the client name. Examples: "New York Association of Counties" is listed as "Association of Counties (NY)"; "New York State Sheriff's Association" is listed as "Sheriff's Association (NYS)"

Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Bimonthly reports should be retained for a period of three years.

MISCELLANEOUS LOBBYIST INFORMATION

There are two prohibitions in the Lobbying Act:

The Lobbying Act prohibits the following:

  • Retaining or employing any lobbyist and the acceptance of any such retainer or employment by any lobbyist where the compensation is contingent on the outcome of such lobbying activity. "Compensation" includes any fee, bonus, stock option, equity inducement or other form of remuneration. This is a Class A misdemeanor.

  • An individual or entity required to be listed on a Statement of Registration pursuant to Article 1-A of the Legislative Law from offering or giving a gift to a Public Official. (Definitions of "gift" and "Public Official" can be found in the Lobbying Act.) Any lobbyist, public corporation or client who violates this prohibition shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for a first violation and a class E felony for a second violation within five years of the first. Further, such lobbyist, public corporation or client is also subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed the greater of $25,000 or three times the amount of the gift. Any lobbyist convicted of or pleading guilty to a felony under the provisions of Section 1-o may be barred from acting as a lobbyist for a period of one year from the date of the conviction.

  • A person or organization required to file a statement or report pursuant to this article from engaging in lobbying activities concerning a governmental procurement during the restricted period as defined in section 1-c(m) of the Act by contacting:

(a) any other person within the procuring entity other than the designated contact; or

(b) any person in a state agency other than the state agency conducting the governmental procurement.

A first-time violation of this provision may subject the person or organization to a civil penalty of up to $10,000. Subsequent violations of this provision within four years of the initial violation may subject the person or organization to a civil penalty fine of up to $25,000.

Late Filings:

First time filers may be charged a late filing fee of no more than $10 per day for each day the required filing is late. All others may be charged a late filing fee of $25 per day for each day the required filing is late.

Penalties for Non Filers:

Failure to file a statement or report may subject the lobbyist to a civil penalty fine not to exceed the greater of $25,000 or three times the amount the person failed to report properly. In addition, a lobbyist may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for a first time failure and a Class E felony for subsequent failures within five years of the first.

Retention Requirements for Filings:

All biennial Statements of Registration should be retained by the lobbyist for three biennial filing periods (six years). All Lobbyist Bimonthly Reports filed with the Commission should be retained by the lobbyist for a period of three years.

MISCELLANEOUS FILING INFORMATION

Copy and Paste directions for Subject, Person Lobbied and Bill Number, Procurement Contract, Executive Order and Tribal-State Compact Fields:

Full Page:

  1. Open up document from which you would like to extract data.
  2. From the Menu at the top of the screen select Edit and then hit the Select All button. This will capture all the data on the document page.
  3. Select Edit Copy and this will copy all the contents in the document.
  4. Minimize document and go to on-line application. Go to appropriate section on the form (Add New Subject, Add New Person or Add New Bill) and click to open this text box. Make sure the mouse cursor is in this section and select Edit Paste. All data that you just copied from the document is pasted in the exact same format into this form's text box.

Portion of Page:

If you only want to copy a certain portion of text on a page, do the following:

  1. Open Up document from which you would like to extract data.
  2. Highlight with mouse only the portion of text that you want to copy.
  3. Select Edit Copy and this will copy all the text content that you highlighted.
  4. Minimize document and go to on-line application. Go to appropriate section on the form (Add New Subject, Add New Person or Add New Bill) and click to open this text box. Make sure the mouse cursor is in this section and select Edit Paste. All data that you just copied from the document is pasted in the exact same format into this form's text box.

Credit Card Payments — For security purposes the application will only permit two attempts at paying for your filing by credit card. After the second failed attempt you will need to pay by check. Make sure you select the pay by check option at the bottom of your form, type in your check or money order number before submitting.

Saving your forms to work on later:

You may choose to save your partially completed registration or report to finish at a later time rather than submit immediately. It is important to note that a saved form cannot be counted as a submission for filing purposes or to meet filing deadlines. Nor can the Commission staff retrieve or submit a report you have chosen to save. Please be sure to review your saved form queue found on the Lobbyist Menu page on a regular basis to finish and submit all of your saved reports by their filing deadlines to avoid late fees or civil penalty fines.

Please Note: If you do not save your form and there is no activity for 30 minutes while logged on to this application, the application will automatically log you off and your data will be lost.

E-Mail Confirmation for Approved and Rejected Forms:

All lobbyists who file on-line will receive an e-mail confirmation when their on-line filings have been approved or rejected by Commission Staff.

Application Security

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (hereinafter "JCOPE") takes confidentiality and computer security very seriously. JCOPE's Website uses industry standard security measures. We also employ the use of digital certificates on our Website (from Paypal) to provide a secure, encrypted connection between capable Web browsers and our Web servers. This secure, encrypted connection is required by our servers whenever and wherever you are asked to enter information that may be considered confidential.

All information sent over the Internet during your visit is encrypted. The messages are changed by using security technology called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) so that only the intended recipient can read them.

  • A thorough authentication process occurs when you use your User ID and Password to login.

  • For your own protection, never give your Password to anyone.

  • To protect your information from unauthorized viewing, the application will automatically disconnect your session if you do not actively use it for 30 minutes. Before leaving your computer unattended, be sure to log off the application by clicking logoff or exiting your browser.