OMB Clarifies Recovery Act Lobbying Restrictions
In an effort to improve the transparency of Recovery Act awards, the Obama Administration is restricting lobbying efforts by potential recipients, and making any lobbying activities that do occur visible to the public.
OMB has just issued a memo to federal agencies that updates the lobbying restrictions that were imposed on Recovery Act funds. In essence, after competitive grant applications have been submitted, there can be no oral communication between federal agency officials and anyone regarding that specific project, whether or not they are registered lobbyists. The prohibition applies after the submission of formal applications , and up through the award of competitive grants under the Recovery Act.
There are a few exceptions, however. For example, federal agency officials may asnwer questions that are technical in nature, and the communication is permissible if the federal employee initiates the contact.
But if communication does take place – including written communications – the federal employee must report it and a summary will be posted on a publicly available website.
To read the full OMB memo to agencies, click here.