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Indiana Lobby Registration Commission

ILRC > Advisory Opinions > Final Advisory Opinions > FINAL ADVISORY OPINION 98-07 Advisory Opinions

FINAL ADVISORY OPINION 98-07:
Reporting Entertainment Expenditures When a Lobbyist Registers Both as a Compensated and an Employer Lobbyist

Indiana Lobby Registration Commission

(Ratification vote taken at public meeting of June 2, 1998)
VOTES ON RATIFICATION:

Chairman Bepko - yes
Vice-Chairman Krahulik - yes
Commissioner Abbs - yes
Commissioner Hicks - yes

Questions and written comments may be directed to: 
Indiana Lobby Registration Commission,
115 W. Washington, Suite 1375, Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-9860



Determination:

A lobbyist who registers both as an employer and as a compensated lobbyist should report entertainment expenditures on the lobbyist's compensated lobbyist report, to the extent the lobbyist has been reimbursed by employer clients for the expenditures. The lobbyist may, if necessary, pro-rate the entertainment expenditures among the clients on whose behalf the entertainment expenditures were made.

Example:

Lobby firm "A" has 5 clients. A spends $250.00 entertaining a legislator and lobbying on behalf of those 5 clients. A registers both as an employer and as a compensated lobbyist. A should report the entertainment expenditures on A's compensated lobbyist activity report and A may, if necessary, pro-rate the expenditure among the clients on whose behalf the entertainment expenditures were made.

Rationale:

Both employer and compensated lobbyists are subject to the same activity reporting requirements. I.C. 2-7-3-3. Thus, to the extent an employer lobbyist has reported an expenditure made to a compensated lobbyist, it would be double reporting to require for another employer lobbyist to report that same expenditure as an employer lobbyist expenditure.

The compensated lobbyist who also reports as an employer lobbyist is susceptible to such double reporting problems. Therefore, if a compensated lobbyist also registers as an employer lobbyist, it is unnecessary for the compensated lobbyist to report expenditures made on behalf of its clients on the employer lobbyist activity report of the compensated lobbyist if the compensated lobbyist's employer lobbyist client has already reported the expenditure.

However, the compensated lobbyist must report the expenditures on the compensated lobbyist report and may, if necessary, may pro-rate the expenditure among the clients on whose behalf the lobbying was performed. The compensated lobbyist activity report contains a back out line which allows the compensated lobbyist to subtract from the total lobbying expenses figure any amounts which have been reimbursed by clients. Double reporting is therefore avoided, while substantial disclosure of expenditures is accomplished.

The new activity reporting form, effective July 1998, will clarify this issue further because compensated and employer lobbyists will be completing the same activity report.