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Campaign Finance Guide
Section 13: Lobbyists

What is a Lobbyist?
(DC Official Code § 1-1105.01)

A lobbyist is any person or group of persons communicating directly or soliciting others to do so with any official in the legislative or executive branches of the District of Columbia Government with the purpose of influencing any legislative action or an administrative decision.

Registration Requirements
(DC Official Code §§ 1-1105.02 and 1-1105.04(a))

Any person or group of persons who receive compensation or expend $250.00 or more in any three (3) consecutive months for lobbying must register with the Director of Campaign Finance within 15 days after becoming a lobbyist, and annually on or before January 15 of each year thereafter.

Reporting Requirements
(DC Official Code § 1-1105.05)

Lobbyists must file an activity report on a biannual basis with the Office of Campaign Finance covering lobbying activities of the previous six months. Reports must include each receipt itemized by date, benefactor, and nature of transaction, amount and total expenditures in five categories. Lobbyists must list each legislative or executive official with whom they have had oral or written communications (during the reporting period) and identify any official and/or member of such official’s personal staff receiving compensation in any manner from the lobbyist.

Compensation, including salaries and fees, should be prorated and reported according to the amount of time allocated to representing any District of Columbia interest. All expenditures of $50.00 or more must be itemized by the date, name and address of the recipient, in addition to the amount and purpose of such expenditure.

Prohibited Activities
(DC Official Code § 1-1105.06)

A lobbyist registered with the Office of Campaign Finance, or anyone acting on behalf of a registrant, may not offer, give or cause to be given a gift to an official in the legislative or executive branch or a member of the official’s staff that exceeds $100.00 in value in the aggregate in any calendar year.

No information copied from registration forms and activity reports or from lists compiled from such forms and reports shall be sold or utilized by any person for the purpose of soliciting campaign contributions or selling tickets to a testimonial or similar fund raising affair or for any commercial purpose. No public official shall be employed as a lobbyist while acting as a public official.

Things to Remember

  • Lobbyists must register annually with the Office of Campaign Finance
  • Any person or group who receives or expends $250.00 in any three (3) consecutive months for lobbying must register with the Office of Campaign Finance as a lobbyist