January 26, 2018 •
Austin Lobbyists Agree to Disclose Compensation
Lobbyists in Austin have agreed to cooperate with the city and disclose how much clients pay them. Taking a lead from state and federal filing requirements, Austin began requiring lobbyists to report what they are paid last year.
Seventeen lobbyists registered with the city, all lawyers, asserted attorney-client privilege prohibited them from the disclosure. The city’s Ethics Review Commission was scheduled to hear ethics complaints filed against the group, but all 17 amended their reports to add the missing information.
A lobbyist who originally refused to disclose his compensation said the City Clerk accepted the form without the information and there is even space provided for an explanation as to why the compensation information was not disclosed.
Austin’s actions this week have set an example for enforcing the reporting requirements moving forward.
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