What is the role of the public office holder?
Since the adoption of the Act in 2002, the public’s right to know is an integral part of the conditions of exercising the responsibilities of a public office holder.
As guardians of the integrity of public decision-making processes, public office holders should ensure that the lobbyists they meet show transparency in compliance with the Act and the Code of Conduct.
They must therefore remain vigilant in questioning the communications they have with lobbyists. In particular, a public office holder must be able to recognize situations that are clearly or probably covered by the Act and require lobbyists to disclose their mandates in the Lobbyists Registry. It must never be forgotten that lobbyists represent special interests they are seeking to promote to obtain a decision in their favour.
Public office holders are accountable to the public for the decisions they make. This is why they should adopt a proactive attitude in management of communications in an attempt to influence. Above, all, they should not ignore the lobbying activities carried on in their environment.
In case lobbyists refuse to register, public office holders must abstain from dealing with them. They must not accept to deal with persons who refuse to comply with the Act. Public office holders must remember that the Act grants the public the right to know who is seeking to influence them. This imposes the responsibility to ensure that lobbyists comply with the Act and register in the Lobbyists Registry.