Instructions for Public Corporations Filing Online

Instructions for Public Corporations Filing Online

General Public Corporation Information

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

What is a public corporation?

The term "public corporation" shall mean a municipal corporation, including counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts, a district corporation, and a public benefit corporation as defined in section sixty-six of the General Construction law.

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.

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 expend, incur, or receive, more than $5,000 in combined reportable compensation and expenses for lobbying activities on a state and/or local level.

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.

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 expend, incur, or receive, more than $5,000 in combined reportable compensation and expenses for lobbying activities on a state and/or local level.

What is an organization?

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

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 Public Corporation 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 Public Corporation 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 click on Request New Public Corporation User ID.

Please Note: You must report the full legal name of the Public Corporation. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms.

Responsible Person: The User ID and Password will be issued to the person responsible for filing the Public Corporation Registration and Bimonthly Reports.

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).

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 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

Forgotten Password

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

Password Change

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 Public Corporation 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 and bimonthly reports you will file.

  • An explanation of all changes must be noted in the comment box.
  • Changes made to the Public Corporation 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.

Public Corporation Name Change:

If you have any changes to make to the Public Corporation name you must go to the “Manage Profile” section of the Public Corporation menu. Click on add new profile update and click on name change under the Public Corporation 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 public corporation name. Changes made to the public corporation 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 Public Corporation Registration

The Lobbying Act requires public disclosure of the identities, activities, and expenditures of lobbyists. Every public corporation which employs or designates an officer, director, trustee, or employee of the corporation to lobby on its behalf, and which 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 Public Corporation Statement of Registration with the Commission, regardless of when they reach the threshold during the biennial period.

Are there any exemptions to registration requirements?

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. (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).

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

  • If a public corporation has employed or designated an officer, director, trustee or employee thereof, to lobby on behalf of the corporation on or before DECEMBER 15, and it is reasonably anticipated that combined reportable compensation and expenses will exceed $5,000 for lobbying activities, the Statement of Registration must be filed BY JANUARY 1 of the first year of the biennial period.

  • If a public corporation has employed or designated an officer, director, trustee or employee thereof, to lobby on behalf of the corporation 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, or a written agreement of retainer or employment signed by both parties.

  • If the public corporation 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.

Public Corporation Information: If any of the Public Corporation information changes, you must make changes to the Public Corporation Profile through the “Manage Profile” section of the Public Corporation menu..

In-House Lobbyist Information: You must list any employed or designated individuals who will be lobbying during the biennial period on behalf of the Public Corporation regardless of whether individually they will meet the $5,000 threshold. Retained Lobbyists should not be listed on your bimonthly reports since they are required to file their own registrations.

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.)

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

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.)

Agreement or written authorizations: The Lobbying Act requires that a copy of a signed, written lobbying agreement be submitted with the registration. Such agreement must specify what biennial period is covered and must disclose the terms and dollar amount of compensation.

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

If there is no written lobbying agreement, as is often the case with employed lobbyists, a written authorization for each lobbyist, signed by the chief administrative officer of the Public Corporation, can be substituted and must be submitted along with a written summary of the oral agreement. The terms and amounts of the compensation or salary must be disclosed. Authorizations, which are not signed by the Chief Administrative Officer, will not be accepted.

I have not received my written authorization yet. May I send my registration in now and send my authorization later?

No. Any registration submitted to the Commission that is not complete (i.e., no Public Corporation Statement of Registration (Amendment) form, no authorization, no signature) 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.

What is required if a lobbying agreement terminates before the end of the registration period?

The public corporation is required to send written notification of the terms of the termination within thirty (30) days after lobbying activity ceases. In addition, the public corporation must still file all required reports by their statutory due dates, reporting all lobbying activity up to the effective date of such termination. No notice need be filed if the termination of retainer, employment, or designation takes effect at the end of the biennial registration period.

On-line Public Corporations have the option of either mailing in a copy of the signed authorization(s) or uploading a scanned copy of the signed authorization(s) to attach to the filing. Mailed-in authorizations must have the registration confirmation number written on the top page. Authorizations can be uploaded during the completion of the registration or through the “Manage Contracts” section of the Public Corporation menu.

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

Registration Fee: No registration fee is required for any Public Corporation.

Miscellaneous: Your registration application will not be approved until the Commission receives your Contract/Authorization.

To facilitate processing and approval time, please write your registration confirmation number on your Contract/Authorization (if not uploading) and mail promptly to the Commission at: New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, 540 Broadway, Albany, New York 12207.

Instructions for Manage Contracts

Authorizations can be uploaded during the completion of the registration or through the “Manage Contracts” section of the Public Corporation menu. This menu can be used to upload signed lobbying 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 authorization, it is suggested that you use this menu first to upload all of your authorizations. Then, as you complete your registration on-line, you can select and assign from the previously uploaded and unassigned authorization files.

Instructions for Public Corporation On-Line Registration Amendment Form

Can a registration be amended after being filed?

Yes. If any of the information contained in a filed registration, including the lobbying agreement, filed in the original statement of registration changes during the biennial registration period, an amended Public Corporation Statement of Registration form must be completed and filed within 10 days of the change. This amendment must include the name of the public corporation, the new or changed information, and must be signed by the chief administrative officer, 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 Public Corporation User ID Request form that makes up the Public Corporation profile, (i.e. Public Corporation name, address and responsible person), can only be changed by going to the “Manage Profile” section of the Public Corporation menu.

Since changes to Type of Lobbying, Level of Government and Contract/Authorization fields require Commission approval, you must provide a detailed explanation of changes made to these fields in the Comments Box.

NO FEE IS REQUIRED WITH AN AMENDED PUBLIC CORPORATION REGISTRATION.

Instructions for On-Line Public Corporation Registration Termination Form

What is required if a lobbying agreement terminates before the end of the registration period?

The public corporation is required to send written notification of the terms of the termination within thirty (30) days after lobbying activity ceases. In addition, the public corporation must still file all required reports by their statutory due dates, reporting all lobbying activity up to the effective date of such termination. 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 CAO. Once the termination is 'withdrawn' (rejected), an amended Public Corporation 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.

The Terminate In-house Lobbyist section of this form must be completed within 30 days of the termination of any in-house lobbyists listed on the registration form.

The Terminate Retained Lobbyist section of this form must be completed within 30 days of the termination of any lobbying agreement or authorization of a retained lobbyist for which you do not anticipate an extension of such agreement or authorization. (Your retained lobbyists are also required to complete a similar form within 30 days.)

Instructions for On-line Public Corporation Bimonthly Report Form

A bimonthly report must be filed for each bimonthly period covered by the registration and/or the contract/authorization with the Public Corporation's retained lobbyist, even if no compensation or expenses have been paid, incurred or received during that period.

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

There are six reporting periods:

  • 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)

Public Corporation Information:

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

In-House Lobbyist Information:

All In-House lobbyists listed on 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 Public Corporation, you can permanently remove their name from the Registration by going to the Registration Termination Section of the Public Corporation Menu.

If after reviewing the list of in-house lobbyists, you need to add new in-house lobbyists, you may do so on this form. This will automatically update your registration for this Public Corporation.

Any compensation paid or owed to the lobbyist for the purpose of lobbying during the period must be reported here.

Retained Lobbyist Information:

Although Public Corporations are not required to report RETAINED LOBBYISTS on their registration, you are required to list the names, addresses, phone numbers and compensation paid to any retained lobbyist lobbying on the Public Corporation's behalf during the bimonthly period.

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.

Expenses:

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 including Lobbying Expenses that are or will be reimbursed during the period in which they are incurred or expended. Expenses paid by a public corporation to a lobbyist for the purpose of lobbying on behalf of such public corporation shall be itemized in the same manner as if such public corporation had directly paid or incurred the 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 the public corporation is lobbying 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 Public Corporation Bimonthly Report have to be filed if a registered public corporation does not have any compensation or expenses for the reporting period?

The Lobbying Act requires that a report be filed by a registered public corporation 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.

Can a Public Corporation Bimonthly Report be withdrawn after submission?

Bimonthly Reports filed showing $0 in compensation/expenses, no lobbying activity, and whose agreements/authorizations have 'expired' or been terminated, may be requested to be withdrawn. Such request must be signed and/or submitted via email by the responsible person, designated person, or CAO.

What should the public corporation 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 public corporations required to file Public Corporation Semi-Annual Reports?

The Public Corporation Bimonthly Reports for the periods covering May through June and November through December are considered semi-annual reports for lobbying reporting purposes. Since public corporations are required to file bimonthly reports for each reporting period that the lobbying agreement covers, there is no separate Public Corporation Semi-Annual Report to file.

Please note: Public corporations may be required to file Client Semi-Annual Reports if the requirements of Section 1 (j) of the Lobbying Act are met.

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.

What are the retention requirements for filings?

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

What type of documentation of expenses must be kept?

A public corporation 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 public corporations 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 Public Corporation Profile through the “Manage Profile” section of the Public Corporation menu.

Instructions for On-line Public Corporation 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 Public Corporation information can only be changed by updating the Public Corporation Profile through the “Manage Profile” section of the Public Corporation Menu.

Disbursement of Public Monies Bimonthly Reports

Who must file Lobbyist Disbursement of Public Monies Bimonthly Reports?

Beginning January 1, 2008, any public corporation 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 public corporation 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)

PLEASE NOTE: Timely reports are those that are RECEIVED in the Commission's office on or before the due date.

What are reportable compensation and reportable expenses?

The term "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 activities covered by Section 1-l. 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.

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 should the public corporation 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.

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

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

Miscellaneous Public Corporation Information

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.

Retention Requirements for Filings:

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

Are there any other penalties for not filing a required statement or report?

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.

MISCELLANEOUS FILING INFORMATION

Copy and Paste directions for Subject, Person Lobbied, 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 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.

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 Public Corporation 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 public corporations who file on-line will receive an e-mail confirmation when their on-line filings have been approved or rejected by Commission Staff.

Public Corporation Name Change:

If you have any changes to make to the Public Corporation name you must go to the “Manage Profile” section of the Public Corporation menu. Click on add new profile update and click on name change under the Public Corporation 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 public corporation name. Changes made to the public corporation 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

Application Security

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (hereinafter "JCOPE") takes confidentiality and computer security very seriously. JCOPE's Web site uses industry standard security measures. We also employ the use of digital certificates on our Web site (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.