The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”) today announced that it has approved a plan for a targeted six-month amnesty and compliance program to encourage lobbyists and clients of lobbyists who are currently unknown to JCOPE to comply with the Lobbying Act and disclose information about their lobbying activities.
“This is a great opportunity to provide sunlight and transparency about groups that have not been filing required reports about lobbying activities,” said Commission Chairman Daniel J. Horwitz. “It also gives the public more information about the groups that are working in their communities and trying to influence government.”
The program will be conducted in conjunction with a similar amnesty program being offered by the New York City Clerk’s office. This amnesty would not apply to “professional” lobbyists or established clients of lobbyists; it would only apply to those who have never submitted any required filings during the specified time period. Both programs would take effect on January 1, 2016 and run through June 30, 2016.
To qualify for the amnesty program, applicants must not have previously been contacted by JCOPE for failure to comply with filing requirements and cannot have been the subject of a criminal proceeding related to a violation of the Lobbying Act. Among the requirements for the JCOPE program are that applicants would be required to file their reports going back from January 1, 2013 and to submit all applicable filing fees.
More information will be available on the JCOPE website at www.jcope.ny.gov as the program gets underway.
Media inquiries may be directed to Walter McClure, Director of External Affairs, at [email protected].