Advisory Opinion NO 2007-02QUESTION PRESENTED
Whether a lobbyist application is in compliance with the Ethics in Government Act if the authorization to lobby is an attached letter rather than a signature on the application itself.ADVISORY OPINION
Under the Ethics in Government Act, lobbyists must file an application for registration with the State Ethics Commission (hereinafter Commission) which shall contain, among other things, “[a] statement signed by the person or agency employing, appointing, or authorizing the applicant to lobby on its behalf…” O.C.G.A. § 21-5-71(b)(5). The Commission provides the lobbyist application which contains the required authorization section to be signed by the person or agency employing the lobbyist.
Georgia law authorizes the Commission to do “any and all things necessary or convenient” to perform its duties and exercise powers granted to it, and “[t]o prescribe forms to be used” to ensure compliance with the Ethics in Government Act. O.C.G.A. § 21-5-6(a)(8) and (b)(1).
A separate letter attached to the lobbyist application which authorizes an individual to lobby on behalf of a person or agency does not comply with the requirement that the application itself contain said authorization. Therefore, each lobbyist application must contain an original signature authorizing the applicant to lobby within the actual application itself.
Prepared by Kay Biebel
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