Monday, 28 September 2009

Lobbyists can no longer serve on federal agency advisory boards

Norm Eisen, the White House Special Counsel on Ethics and Government Reform, has announced in a blogpost on the White House blog that the Obama administration is strongly discouraging the appointment of federally registered lobbyists to federal agency advisory boards and commissions. According to the post, "the President has made a commitment to close the revolving door that has in the past allowed lobbyists and others to move to and from full-time federal government service." And since appointments to agency advisory committees are made by the Head of the agency, the post goes on to say "We recognize that there are many registered lobbyists who currently serve on these committees as a result of a prior appointment. When these appointments expire, it is our hope that agencies not reappoint anyone who is currently registered as a federal lobbyist at the time of their potential reappointment."
According to an article in The Hill, one result of this announcement will be that lobbyists won't register or will de-register. At least 1,000 federal advisory committees report to the General Services Administration under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and many of them now include registered lobbyists.

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