From May 2016, organisations receiving public funds will not be able to use any of that money for the purposes of lobbying, thanks to a new rule set to go into effect in that month. The rule is set to be implemented via new language that will be inserted into all government grant contracts in order to prevent what some believe is an undue amount of influence some organisations have due to their access to public funds. It will not drastically alter the career management plans of professional lobbyists, but it will cause some of the organisations they work for to rethink their lobbying strategies.
As you might expect, there are both critics and proponents of the new rule. Critics say that preventing public funds from being used for lobbying purposes will stifle the voice of organisations that rely on public money yet have no other way to let their voices be heard in government. Even legitimate businesses that receive some public funding will have to shift how their budgets are used to ensure none of that public funding is used to influence the government.
The other side puts forth the notion that lobbying is inherently a bad thing. And because it is bad, public funding must be kept out of the equation. Proponents of the rule believe it will clean up the practice of lobbying to some extent by not making it as financially attractive.
Winners and Losers with Every Rule
As proponents and critics of the new lobbying rules continue to debate, one thing is for certain: there are winners and losers every time the government takes action on anything. As a leader in the recruiting space, we know this all too well. Government regulations drive a lot of what our clients do, thereby driving the kinds of employees they are looking to hire. Just one piece of government action can completely change hiring priorities within a company.
As we have already stated, the new lobbying rules are not going to have any devastating effects on the career management plans of professional lobbyists. In fact, there are a lot of important issues now facing the country that make the job of the lobbyist incredibly important. We will continue to look for and recruit the best lobbyists for our clients to ensure that their voices continue to be heard.