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Code of Ethics
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CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

 

ARTICLE I. - THE PROFESSIONAL LOBBYIST

 

A professional lobbyist should conduct himself with honesty and integrity and should exhibit accuracy, civility, and courtesy in his dealings with others.

 

1.1  A professional lobbyist should be truthful at all times in dealing with public officials, policy makers, fellow lobbyists, and others involved in the governmental process; provided, this obligation does not extend to an affirmative duty to disclose confidential information obtained from a client.

 

1.2  A professional lobbyist who learns that any information provided by him to a public official or other person directly involved in an issue is factually inaccurate in any material way or has changed in a manner that renders it materially inaccurate, is obligated to promptly provide all necessary corrections or updated information to that official and those persons.

 

ARTICLE II. - COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS AND RULES

 

A professional lobbyist should fully comply with all statutes and rules relating to the conduct of lobbying activities and the election of public officials.

 

2.1  A professional lobbyist should have a thorough working knowledge of laws and rules applicable to the profession and should not violate these provisions in substance or in sprit.

 

2.2  A professional lobbyist should never knowingly cause any public official, policy maker, or other interested person to violate any law or rule applicable to them and should not facilitate or otherwise participate in an apparent violation.

 

ARTICLE III. – PROFESSIONALISM

 

A professional lobbyist conducts all lobbying activities in a manner befitting the profession.

 

3.1  A professional lobbyist should fully understand the legislative, governmental, and political processes in order to represent a client or an employer in a competent and effective manner.

 

A professional lobbyist should maintain a high level of current knowledge of the governmental processes and of relevant specialized subject areas and should participate in continuing education, seminars, and similar activities to maintain this level of ongoing proficiency.

 

ARTICLE IV. - CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

 

A professional lobbyist should not undertake or continue representations that create, or are likely to create, conflicts of interest in the absence of consent of the clients involved.

 

4.1  A lobbyist should not advocate a position on behalf of one client if the lobbyist also represents another client with a materially inconsistent position without the consent of both clients.

 

4.2  When it becomes apparent at any stage of representation that the material interests of a potential or existing client may have a significant adverse impact on another client, a professional lobbyist has an affirmative obligation to fully and timely disclose the potential conflict to both clients and to reach a solution that is either clearly understood and acceptable by each as to the manner in which the potential conflict is to be resolved or that includes withdrawal from representation, as appropriate.

 

ARTICLE V. - DUE DILIGENCE AND BEST WORK

 

A professional lobbyist should diligently and vigorously advance the interests of the client or employer.

 

5.1  A professional lobbyist is duty bound to devote the necessary time, attention, and resources to the interests of the client or employer.

 

5.2  A professional lobbyist should keep a client fully informed as to relevant events relating to that client and should, as appropriate, give the client meaningful and informed participation in the development and implementation of strategies and the prioritization of the acceptability of potential results.

 

ARTICLE VI. – ENGAGEMENT

 

An independent professional lobbyist who is retained by a client should have an agreement with the client regarding the engagement of the lobbyist's services.

 

ARTICLE VII. – CONFIDENTIALITY

 

A professional lobbyist should maintain the confidentiality of information provided by the client and of any other confidential information that would be contrary to the client's material interests if disclosed.

 

ARTICLE VIII. - DUTY TO THE PROCESS

 

In addition to the duties set forth herein, a professional lobbyist should at all times exhibit the proper respect for the democratic institutions and processes, public officials and policymakers, and his fellow lobbyists.

 

ARTICLE IX. - DUTY TO FELLOW LOBBYISTS

 

A professional lobbyist should treat his colleagues with fairness, dignity and respect.

 

9.1  A professional lobbyist should not solicit, or knowingly permit solicitation of, a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment if the professional lobbyist knows or reasonably should know that the person to whom the solicitation is directed is already represented by a lobbyist in the matter.

 

9.2  The provisions of section 9.1 above do not apply to: 

A.  The circulation of generic printed communications to ten or more potential clients that notify them of a change of circumstances such as the entry into lobbying, changes of firm personnel or of firms, specialized knowledge of a given area, and similar communications that are not directed as a solicitation to an individual entity.

 

B.  Responses to inquiries or requests that are initiated by a potential client, including but not limited to requests for proposals.

 

C.  The solicitation of another lobbyist who is not also the principal. 

9.3  A professional lobbyist distinguishes between the issue and the person in viewing his peers and treats the person in a respectful and collegial manner.

 

9.4  A professional lobbyist has an affirmative duty to uphold the dignity and standards of the profession by counseling or even admonishing those of his colleagues that manifest behaviors that are inconsistent with this Code and of this paragraph in particular.

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