WHAT IS LOBBYING?6 February 2015
“Lobbying” is any direct or indirect communication with public officials, political decision-makers or representatives for the purposes of influencing public decision-making carried out by or on behalf of any organised group”.
“Lobbyists” can include not only professional lobbyists, but private sector representatives (in-house lobbyists), public affairs consultancies, representatives from NGOs, corporations, industry/professional associations, trade unions, think tanks, law firms, faith-based organisations and academics. Regulation should capture all who lobby professionally.
So, this definition purposefully excludes individual citizens lobbying on their own behalf. Instead, this is considered part of a normal healthy democratic process and not something which should be unduly regulated.
This definitions draws heavily on the Sunlight Foundation Lobbying Guidelines, the OECD Report on Progress made in implementing the OECD Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying and Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1908 (2010) on lobbying in a democratic society.