Code of Ethics for Lobbyists

Lobbyists should be familiar with the code of ethics adopted by the American League of Lobbyists (ALL), which provides basic guidelines and standards for the conduct of lobbyists.

Herbern Electric Code Machine 1918
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ryan Somma

Honesty and Integrity
Lobbyists should always be truthful in their communications with public officials and with all other interested parties.

Compliance with Laws, Regulations and Rules
Lobbyists should always make certain they are familiar with and comply with all laws, regulations and rules that apply to them.

Lobbying and Advocacy, by Deanna GelakLobbyists must conduct their lobbying activities in a manner that is fair and professional.

Conflicts of Interest
Lobbyists should not undertake any representations that may establish conflicts of interest without the informed consent of the client that is involved.

Due Diligence and Best Efforts
Lobbyists should always diligently and vigorously advocate for the interests of their clients.

Compensation and Engagement Terms
Independent lobbyists who are retained by clients should always have a written agreement with the client regarding the terms and conditions for their services.

Lobbyists should always maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality of all employer and/or client information.

Public Education
Lobbyists should seek to ensure the public has a better understanding and appreciation of lobbying within the governmental process.

Duty to Governmental Institutions
Along with fulfilling their duties and responsibilities to their employer or client, lobbyists should always ensure they exhibit only the most proper respect for all governmental institutions.

The ALL Code of Ethics has been designed to ensure that lobbying is undertaken in the most proper and appropriate manner possible. It is important that government officials be able to receive information from affected interests that is factual and be aware of the views of those parties in order to make policy judgments that are well informed. The Code of Ethics works toward preserving and advancing public trust and confidence in democratic institutions and the public policy advocacy process. Professional lobbyists should recognize that they have a strong obligation to conduct themselves in the highest moral and ethical manner possible in all of their dealings with public officials and all other parties. While the Code of Ethics is only intended to apply to independent lobbyists, all lobbyists should seek to practice the highest ethical conduct possible in their lobbying efforts.

To learn more about working with Congress, consider Strategies for Working with Congress and our Capitol Hill Workshop.

Reference: Lobbying and Advocacy, by Deanna Gelak, Appendix 6: Lobbyists’ Code of Ethics.

For more information about effective advocacy in Washington, see these resources from TheCapitol.Net

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