Information on the Mandated Ethics Training Requirement for Lobbyists and Clients

Information on Mandated Ethics Training

As part of the Ethics Commission Reform Act of 2022, the mandated ethics training requirement for Lobbyists (Principal, Individual, and In-House Lobbyists) has been expanded to include Contractual Clients, and Beneficial Clients. 

The Commission is developing a new online ‘Ethics for Lobbyists and Clients’ course that will be available on January 18, 2023.

All Lobbyists and Clients will be required to take this new training in 2023.

 

Legislative Mandates requiring Ethics Training:

Executive Law § 94 (8)(d)

The Commission shall develop and administer training courses for lobbyists and clients of lobbyists.

 

Lobbying Act § 1-d(h)

The Commission shall have the power and duty to provide an online ethics training course for individuals registered as lobbyists pursuant to section one-e of the Lobbying Act. The curriculum for the course shall include, but not be limited to, explanations and discussions of the statutes and regulations of New York concerning ethics in the public officers law, the election law, the legislative law, summaries of advisory opinions, underlying purposes and principles of the relevant laws, and examples of practical application of these laws and principles. The Commission shall prepare those methods and materials necessary to implement the curriculum.

Each individual registered as a lobbyist pursuant to section one-e of the Lobbying Act shall complete such training course at least once in any three-year period during which he or she is registered as a lobbyist.

Who must complete Ethics for Lobbyists?

All Lobbyists, Contractual Clients and Beneficial Clients listed on a 2023-2024 Lobbyist or Public Corporation Statement of Registration are required to take the Commission’s new online “Ethics for Lobbyists and Clients” course. For purposes of training compliance by organizations, the Chief Administrative Officer is responsible for taking the training on behalf of the organization.  This new course is mandatory for 2023 regardless of whether a Lobbyist has previously taken the current “Ethics for Lobbyists” course.

 

The submission of a 2023-2024 Registration is the triggering instrument for identifying individuals and organizations in ‘Training Required Roles’.  

Training Required Roles

The following list provides an outline of those individuals or organizations identified in Training Required Roles: 

  • Principal Lobbyist (Includes both Retained and Employed Lobbyists)
    • CAO listed in the Organization Profile of the Lobbyist
    • Individual Lobbyists listed on a 2023- 2024 Registration
  • Public Corporation
    • CAO listed in the Public Corporation Organization Profile
    • In-House Lobbyists listed on a 2023-2024 Registration
  • Contractual Client – (includes an organization or a person lobbying on their own behalf) 

    • In the case of an Organization: the responsible party is the CAO
    • In the case of an Individual lobbying on their own behalf: the responsible party is the individual.
  • Beneficial Client - (Includes an organization or a person) 
    • In the case of an Organization: the responsible party is the CAO
    • In the case of an Individual: the responsible party is the individual.

 

Exceptions to Training Required Roles:

 

To avoid duplicate training requirements, any Co-Lobbyist or Sub-Lobbyist listed on a 2023-2024 Statement of Registration will not be triggered for training until they submit their own Registration where they are listed as a Lobbyist or Client. Once that occurs, they will receive notifications they are required to complete ethics training.

Due Dates to Complete Training

The new online training is expected to launch on January 18, 2023.  Due dates to complete ethics training are as follows:

 

For the initial 2023/24 Biennial launch:

  • Registrations submitted on or before January 18, 2023, the training release date, will have an extended training due date of March 18, 2023.
  • Registrations submitted after January 18, 2023 will have 60 days from the Registration submission date to complete the training

 

Important Information for Filers that have not accessed the online Lobbying Application

Principal Lobbyists that may create profiles on behalf of new Clients and Beneficial Clients that do not already have an Organization Profile established in the online Lobbying Application (‘LA’) must include a valid email address (preferably the email address of the Chief Administrative Officer, if known) when creating an orphan and/or placeholder profile for the purpose of submitting a Registration.

The Commission STRONGLY advises Principal Lobbyists to message their Clients (Contractual and Beneficial) that they need to active verify their User and Organization Profiles to receive notifications regarding the training requirement to ensure timely compliance of the training mandate.

When will I receive notification of the Training Requirement

Notifications are expected to be sent around January 18, 2023 and thereafter, as applicable, notifying those training required individuals and organizations of the requirement. 

Tracking and Compliance

The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government will be reporting quarterly statistics to the Governor and the Legislature on the compliance metrics related to the mandated Ethics Training Initiative for Lobbyists and Clients.

Upon completion of the course, Lobbyists and Clients in 'Training Required Roles' must certify and attest their training completion status and log into the online Lobbying Application to record their compliance status.

Individual and In-House Lobbyists are expected to be able to report their training compliance to any authorized user of the Organization’s Profile including the Chief Administrative Officer, Delegated Administrator or Preparer(s) - who may record the Individual or In-House Lobbyist's compliance status for that individual - once the functionality is available in the Lobbying Application.

 

Important Information for Filers that have not accessed the online Lobbying Application

Principal Lobbyists that may create profiles on behalf of new Clients and Beneficial Clients that do not already have an Organization Profile established in the online Lobbying Application (‘LA’) must include a valid email address (preferably the email address of the Chief Administrative Officer, if known) when creating an orphan and/or placeholder profile for the purpose of submitting a Registration.

The Commission STRONGLY advises Principal Lobbyists to message their Clients (Contractual and Beneficial) that they need to active verify their User and Organization Profiles to receive notifications regarding the training requirement to ensure timely compliance of the training mandate.

Best Practices

As best practice, to ensure timely compliance with the mandated training requirement, the Commission requests that Lobbyists:

  1. Notify your Clients (Contractual and Beneficial) that they will be subject to the ethics training requirement and encourage Client Filers to active verify their associated User and Organization Profiles to avoid late compliance;
  2. Verify that the name and email addresses of all Individual Lobbyists or In-House Lobbyists listed in their Organization Profiles are correct to ensure these individuals will receive notification of how to comply with the training requirement.  Please note that if, while reviewing the accuracy of the names and email addresses of those Individual and In-house Lobbyists listed on your Organization Profile, you notice any duplicate names, please do not DELETE duplicate entries and instead, contact the lobbying helpdesk at [email protected] for assistance; and
  3. Verify that the CAO listed in the Lobbyists’ Organization Profile is still accurate given that the CAO is responsible for completing the mandatory ethics training for the Organization.