Compliance Q&A: Educating your board on lobbying

Q: As a trade association, regarding lobbying compliance education, we understand we must educate our staff, but should we also be educating our board?

A: Yes, first because if you’re an association and you have board members, or corporate members who separately employ or retain lobbyists, it’s important that everyone understand how far-reaching the law is. It can directly effect both you as an organization, and your members in their own corporate capacities.

Secondly, board members of any association or organization that employs or retains lobbyists cannot be reimbursed by the association or the organization for expenses associated with taking a member or staffer to lunch, or a similar expense.  It is the organization (or company) itself which is precluded from making those kinds of payments, and so the fact that such expenses would not be reimbursable would apply not only to employees but also to board members.

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