Skip Navigation

Lobbying Enforcement

In 2009, there were 5,887 lobbyists registered with the Commission, representing 3,499 clients, compared to 6,624 lobbyists representing 4,145 clients in 2008. During this same period, there were 52 public corporations registered, the same as the previous year.

Groups attempting to influence government continue to spend a large amount of money to get their point of view across to State and local decision-makers. According to semi-annual reports filed with the Commission, $197.8 million was spent on lobbying in 2009. (See chart below.)

In 2009, there were 15,824 legislative bills before the Legislature and 1,616 rules, regulations, and rates pending before State agencies. The Commission's monitoring responsibilities also extend to lobbyists and clients attempting to influence any local law, ordinance, rule, regulation and rate pending before a municipality or its subdivision. A total of 539 registrations were filed for lobbyists active on local issues. The Commission also covers those attempting to influence determinations by a state or local public official relating to governmental procurement on both a State and municipal level. There were 222 registrations filed for lobbyists active on procurement matters; another 766 registrations were amended or filed by lobbyists active on both procurement and non-procurement matters.

Staff works with lobbyists and clients, to the fullest possible extent, to obtain compliance. This is done through outreach and education programs as described earlier in this report.

Lobbying activity in the Legislature and State agencies is monitored to detect non-registered lobbying by special interest groups and others. In the Legislature, budget bills and other issues are identified to determine if any unregistered party has attempted to influence legislative action. In State agencies, Notices of Appearance submitted pursuant to Section 166 of the Executive Law are reviewed by Commission staff for unregistered lobbying activity. Last year, the Program Operations Unit opened 49 inquiries into unregistered lobbying activities, twice as many as the previous year; 4 registrations were filed as a result.

As required by statute, the Commission conducts a Random Audit Program that provides another independent and objective evaluation of reports and registration statements filed by lobbyists and their clients. An outside accounting firm certifies that the Random Audit Program is in compliance with the Act's provisions. This year, under the Random Audit Program, the Commission conducted 563 audits. These audits produced 22 formal findings regarding potential violations of the Lobbying Act; 407 informal findings, which are minor errors in documentation or reporting; and 649 recommendations to improve record keeping or filing procedures.

Previous: Training | Top of Page | Next: Legislation