NEWS RELEASE · 14th December 2012
Office of Registrar Lobbyists
A B.C. lobbyist has been fined for non-compliance with the Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA).
As outlined in Investigation Report 12-15 and Reconsideration Report 12-01, tabled today in the B.C. legislature, consultant lobbyist Jay Hill was investigated by Deputy Registrar of lobbyists Mary Carlson for allegedly filing a late registration. The Deputy Registrar's investigation confirmed that Hill had registered an undertaking to lobby when he had not in fact been retained to lobby. Based on the evidence, the Deputy Registrar found that the lobbyist had supplied inaccurate information to the Lobbyists Registry in contravention of sections 3(1) and 4(1) of the act.
The Deputy Registrar found that by registering an undertaking to lobby when such was not the case, Hill undermined the goal of transparency in lobbying the LRA attempts to achieve.
"A clear message must be sent to the general lobbyist community that the ORL expects lobbyists to take seriously their legal responsibilities for filing accurate and timely information," Carlson said in the investigation report. An administrative penalty of $2,500 was applied.
Hill requested a reconsideration of the Deputy Registrar's findings. Under the LRA, a person may request the Registrar of Lobbyists to reconsider a decision within 30 days of being informed of that decision. The Registrar must reconsider the grounds of the decision and rescind, confirm or vary the amount of the administrative penalty applied.
Registrar of Lobbyists Elizabeth Denham confirmed the Deputy Registrar's finding; however, she reduced the amount of the administrative penalty to $250 in view of the circumstances and in light of other administrative penalties imposed to date.
The Registrar said, "There is no evidence of an economic benefit to Mr. Hill or economic harm to others. I am also of the view that Mr. Hill's motives in registering are relevant. I accept that, far from setting out to mislead anyone or conceal his activities, he filed a return in an effort to be open. Accordingly, I am varying the penalty, which is to be set at $250."
Both the Deputy Registrar's investigation report and the Registrar's reconsideration report are available at: lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca