Lobbying is defined as a paid activity or action performed by Chilean or foreign individuals or corporations for the purpose of promoting, defending or representing a special interest in order to influence decisions that lobbyees must, under the law, make as part of their duties. The particular acts and decisions subject to lobbying are regulated in the law.
Special interest advocacy is work or activity performed by Chilean or foreign individuals or corporations for which no payment is made. Its goal is to promote, defend or represent a special interest in order to have an influence in the decisions that lobbyees must adopt as part of their duties.
Lobbyers are both lobbyists and special interest advocates, while lobbyees are the authorities and officers who are lobbied or before whom special interests are promoted as stated in the law or in a special administrative resolution issued by an agency head.
The law distinguishes between lobbyists and special interest advocates on the basis of whether payment is made for a specific action taken before an authority or officer. An enterprise or individual who is paid by a third party to represent that third party’s interests is considered a lobbyist, while anyone who takes action or conducts activities in the aim of promoting, defending or representing his interests or those of his company is a special interest advocate.
Hearing or meeting is literally the moment where the lobbyee meets with a lobbyist or special interest advocate, either in person or by audiovisual media or videoconference call, for the purpose of discussing any one of the matters regulated in the law, at the time and in the manner stipulated by the lobbyee. Phone calls and e-mails are excluded.
Activities Regulated By The Law
- Regulated Activities: are activities that aim to cause the following decisions and actions to be adopted or refused:
– Drafting, enactment, amendment, repeal or rejection of administrative acts, bills of laws, laws and decisions by lobbyees themselves.
– Drafting, processing, approval, amendment, repeal or rejection of agreements, statements or decisions by the National Congress or its members, including committees.- The making, amendment or termination in any way of contracts made by lobbyees that are required for their operations.
– The design, implementation and evaluation of policies, plans and programs by lobbyees.
- Unregulated Activities: The law states 11 cases of activities not regulated by the lobbying law that therefore must not be recorded as such. In summary, they are generally matters relating to:
– field work by the authority, public meetings and assemblies, and general activities performed as part of their duties.
– the relations between lobbyees as part of their job.- inquiries to learn of the status of a proceeding.
– matters involving attorney privilege.
Duties Of Lobbyees (Authorities And Officers)
- Keeping records: of hearings and meetings held, trips by lobbyees as part of their job, official and ceremonial gifts received by lobbyees as part of their job, and of which lobbyists and special interest advocates meet with each lobbyee.
- Disclosure: The records must be published according to article 7 of the Transparency Law and must be updated on the first business day of each month, in reusable open data format. The Transparency Council (CPLT) has set up the Infolobby site that consolidates information published by each government agency monthly.
- Equal treatment: This means that anyone requesting a hearing or meeting regarding one same subject must be treated respectfully and deferentially and given adequate time to explain their petitions. Lobbyees (authorities) are not deemed to have discriminated because they entrusted a hearing to another lobbyee from the same agency.
Some exceptions to records disclosures:
– Hearings and meetings: They are exempt from this requirement when disclosure will compromise the general interests of the nation or national security. However, a confidential report must be presented each year to the Office of General Accountability of the Republic.
– Travel records: Travel is exempt from this requirement when disclosure would compromise the general interests of the nation or national security or when trips are made at the invitation of non-profit legal entities. However, a confidential report must be presented each year to the Office of General Accountability of the Republic.
– The record of official and ceremonial gifts received by lobbyees as part of their job, provided they are allowed by law.
Duties of Lobbyers (Lobbyists And Special Interest Advocates)
Lobbyers have the duty of disclosure, which means:
– in order to request a hearing or meeting, the request must be made by a form developed by the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff, that can be found on the “Lobby Law Platform” website.
– The person requesting the hearing or meeting and those that will attend must be identified as well as the specific subject to be discussed and whether or not payment is being made for talking to the authority.
– Lobbyees may request additional information to supplement or clarify points in the information provided by the lobbyer in the request for a hearing or meeting, either before or after the hearing, and if after, within 10 business days thereafter.
– Hard copies of the hearing request form will be available at the respective agency’s reception office and in an e-format on the relevant agency’s website.
– The authority must decide on the request within three business days. The authority may agree to or refuse the hearing or meeting and he may always entrust it to a fellow lobbyee in the same agency.
- Lobbyees (authorities and officers)If no record or disclosure is made by the deadline to do so, the Office of General Accountability can propose, after an inquest, penalizing the head of the agency or his substitute. The resolution making this proposal must state the reasons. That penalty will range from 10 to 30 Monthly Tax Units.If there has been an inexcusable omission or the inclusion of knowingly false information, the fine will be 20 to 50 Monthly Tax Units, notwithstanding any corresponding criminal liability.
- Lobbyers (lobbyists and special interest advocates)Any person requesting a meeting or hearing who inexcusably omits information required in the form or knowingly provides inaccurate or false information will be sanctioned by a fine of 10 to 50 Monthly Tax Units, notwithstanding any other applicable penalties.