Annex A. Statement of Principles of the Québec Commissioner of Lobbying (2019)

The proposed lobbying regime should recognise:

It is in the public interest for everyone to have access to public institutions in order to participate in their policies and decisions.

The submissions made to elected officials, officers and employees of public institutions generally contribute to bringing useful elements of information and understanding into reflection and decision making.

In order to encourage the exercise of citizens’ fundamental rights and to maintain their trust in public institutions, the State and public institutions must ensure the transparency of submissions of interest relevant to the public that aim to exercise an influence on the policies or decisions of the institutions and constitute lobbying activities.

Transparency and sound practice in lobbying render it legitimate.

All stakeholders in lobbying activities, including entities and their interest representatives, beneficiaries of the activities and public institutions have the shared responsibility of ensuring transparency for the public’s benefit.

In order to ensure the transparency of lobbying activities, the State must maintain a mandatory regulatory framework that includes disclosure rules and an ethics framework as well as the powers necessary to ensure compliance.

The regulatory framework must be founded on the relevance of disclosing lobbying activities so that everyone may be adequately informed in a timely manner.

The regulatory framework must be adapted to the reality of lobbying different levels of public institutions and be in accordance with the nature of those lobbying activities.

In the spirit of simplicity, clarity, relevance and efficiency, the framework must be consistent with others dealing with transparency and integrity put in place by public institutions.

The State must maintain a space for fair and accessible dialogue with its citizens and, to this end, the lobbying framework must not wrongfully restrict access to public institutions.

Define the following as lobbying activities relevant to the public and require their disclosure:

  • Any intervention, either direct or through an intermediary, with a public institution, whose goal is

  • To suggest or change the development, content, drafting or implementation of any type of legislative, regulatory, strategic or administrative policy; or

  • To influence the decision-making process of a public institution concerning any financial investment, contract, permit or other authorization determined by the Act or by regulation, or the appointment of any person holding a key position within the State.

Regulate grassroots lobbying activities.

By regulation, establish specific, adapted rules concerning the regulation and disclosure of certain lobbying activities towards different levels of public institutions, especially concerning any form of financial investment, contract, permit or other form of authorization that it is relevant to regulate.

Regulate lobbying activities exercised by all interest representatives acting on behalf of an individual or entity, regardless of its nature, including a grouping of entities.

No minimum threshold of activity is required, nor do interest representatives need to be remunerated for the Act to apply.

Cover all public institutions and the elected officials, officers and employees of those institutions that lobbying activities may be directed towards, including the legislative, executive and administrative systems at the provincial and municipal levels.

Exclude submissions of interest made without an intermediary:

  • by an individual or group of individuals to promote their own rights or interests as citizens or taxpayers of the State.

  • by an entity, in its role as citizen or taxpayer of the State, to promote its own rights or interests if its intervention is specifically provided for or required by law and carried out in accordance with specific processes.

  • by a community organization primarily offering support services directly to the public.

Require all individuals and entities to register in the disclosure system established by the Act if they wish to carry out lobbying activities with or without an intermediary.

Assign the represented entities the responsibility of authorizing any interest representative to carry out lobbying activities on its behalf and of ensuring the disclosure, truthfulness, reliability and follow-up of lobbying activities performed by their in-house interest representatives.

Assign external interest representatives the responsibility of ensuring the disclosure, truthfulness, reliability and follow-up of lobbying activities made on behalf of their clients.

Establish an ethical framework applicable to entities and interest representatives for the disclosure, carrying out and follow-up of lobbying activities in a way that maintains the highest standards of integrity and professionalism and promotes citizens’ trust in public institutions.

Assign the interest representative and the entity for which they are an administrator, associate, officer, employee or member the joint responsibility of ensuring compliance with the ethical framework for the interest representative in carrying out lobbying activities.

By regulation, prescribe the requirements for keeping information on lobbying activities for verification and inquiry purposes.

Designate the primary officer of any public institution or any person within that institution to whom the officer will delegate the responsibility as reference person for the application of and compliance with the Act within the institution.

Establish disclosure and confidentiality obligations, an ethical framework and specific prohibitions applicable to lobbying activities undertaken by elected officials or officers designated by public institutions during and after the end of their term or duties for the public institutions with which they had or maintained connections or official relations. The framework must also allow the Commissioner of lobbying to grant a full or partial exemption from such obligations, rules or prohibitions when doing so is not contrary to the spirit of the Act.

Establish a mandatory, public disclosure system for lobbying activities based on open data and providing free access, at all times, to relevant and verifiable information allowing anyone to be aware of and understand the lobbying activities and respond to them in a timely manner.

Require all relevant information to be disclosed, including the identity of interest representatives and entities undertaking or benefiting from lobbying activities, public institutions targeted and all information, financial or otherwise, that is deemed relevant for understanding the goals of a lobbying activity and the means used to carry it out.

Confer the responsibility and administration of the disclosure system on the Commissioner of lobbying.

Require the disclosure of any intention to undertake lobbying activities and the follow-up of any activity undertaken, especially if an elected official or an officer designated by a public institution is being lobbied.

Allow an entity to disclose, for a specific mandate, the entirety of the lobbying activities undertaken by the individuals or entities that are its members, by assuming, on their behalf, the responsibility for and conformity of the lobbying activities.

Confirm that the framework for lobbying public institutions is under the authority of the National Assembly and maintain the Commissioner of lobbying’s responsibilities as the person designated to perform the functions provided for in the Act.

Set out the Commissioner of lobbying’s duties in a way that ensures impartiality, independence of action and fairness of decisions, and set out the establishment by the National Assembly of the Commissioner’s powers, the appointment, replacement and remuneration procedure as well as the method of financing and accountability for activities.

Set out the powers and duties for the Commissioner of lobbying that are adapted to the position and consistent with those of other persons designated by the National Assembly.

For the Commissioner of lobbying and the persons the Commissioner designates, maintain the powers and protection for commissioners appointed under the Act respecting public inquiry commissions as well as the powers of inquiry, verification and inspection, and introduce the power to make formal demands to provide information as well as the power to publish certain reports and recommendations or penalties when deemed relevant for the purposes of the Act.

Maintain penal and disciplinary penalties and introduce monetary administrative penalties that are proportional and adapted to the nature and seriousness of the offences, allowing for a sliding scale of penalties and their publication if deemed relevant for the purposes of the Act.

Grant the Commissioner, as part of disciplinary powers, the capacity to impose mandatory training on any interest representative.

Establish a prescription regime adapted to the nature of the offences provided for by the Act and consistent with similar existing regimes in Québec.

Set out the Commissioner’s power to issue guidelines, orders and interpretive notices covering interpretation, application and compliance with the Act, as well as the power to exempt the publication of information related to lobbying activities if its disclosure may be prejudicial to an individual, entity or public institution.

Grant the Commissioner the power to issue recommendations to a public institution, interest representative or any other individual or entity in order to ensure that the Act and its ethical principles and obligations of conduct are respected.

Introduce an educational mission specifically for the Commissioner of lobbying and the obligation to offer public institutions, interest representatives and citizens a program and tools for training and education on the regulatory framework established by the Act.

Introduce a training program for elected officials and officers designated by public institutions, continuing education for external interest representatives and the responsibility for all registered entities to offer such training to their in-house interest representatives.

Set out a regulatory power, subject to the National Assembly’s approval, for efficiently adapting and developing the legislative framework according to societal expectations and best practices concerning the lobbying activities’ framework.

Set out, for the Commissioner of lobbying, any other duty, power or function that the National Assembly deems necessary to ensure the Act is complied with.

Establish a regular, mandatory process for the Act’s revision as well as a submission and consultation mechanism allowing the Commissioner to formulate, in a timely manner, recommendations to a committee or any other appropriate authority under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2022

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at