Washington State University

Revised 12-13
Government Relations

Reporting Federal Lobbying Activity

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University employees often lobby members of Congress or federal agencies to advocate official University positions and/or attempt to attain WSU goals and missions.

University employees who engage in lobbying activities are required to keep track of and report all applicable lobbying activities. This section defines federal lobbying and provides procedures for quarterly reporting of federal lobbying. See below for reporting procedures.

University employees must keep track of and report all lobbying activities with federal officials, such as Members of either House of Congress, high-level executive branch officials, or high-level federal agency officials, who are covered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. (2 USC Sec. 1601)


A federal lobbying activity is any written, oral, or electronic communication regarding any proposed or adopted federal legislation, rule, or executive order, or the administration of any federal program with any covered executive or legislative branch official. This includes the negotiation, award, or administration of any federal contract, grant, loan, permit, or license.

Covered Officials

Covered executive branch officials include the President, the Vice President, and any high-ranking officer or employee of the executive branch of the federal government.

Covered legislative branch officials include Members of Congress; elected officers of either House of Congress; any employee of a Member, joint committee, leadership staff group, or committee of either House of Congress; and any employee of a working group or caucus organized to provide legislative services or other assistance to Members of Congress.

Federal agency officials are required to disclose their covered status under the Lobbying Reform Act upon request. WSU employees should request this information prior to any potential lobbying contacts with federal officials. (2 USC Sec. 1609(c))

Registered WSU Lobbyists

The Lobbying Reform Act also requires that the University register as lobbyists all faculty, staff, and administrative personnel who spend over 20 percent of their time in lobbying activities and who contact covered federal officials more than once in any six-month period.

NOTE: Even those University employees who do not qualify as registered lobbyists must report all lobbying activities with covered officials.

Contact the Office of Government Relations for information and assistance; telephone 509-335-5756.


State Funds

Lobbying activity supported by state funds is limited to:

State funds may not be expended as a direct or indirect gift or campaign contribution to any federal elected official or officer or an employee of any federal agency.

Discretionary Funds

Discretionary funds are unrestricted donations and any income received from unrestricted donations. These funds may be used to support federal lobbying activity for the purpose of attaining WSU goals and missions and may not be used for personal expenses. For example, discretionary 17A account funds may be used for entertainment and meals.

See 70.33 for University requirements regarding discretionary 17A account funds.


The Office of Government Relations submits a semi-annual summary to the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate, Washington, D.C., of all time and expenses associated with applicable federal lobbying contacts.

Each employee who spent any time in person federal lobbying must submit a Federal Lobbying Activity Quarterly Report. The Federal Lobbying Activity Quarterly Report is an online form available at the Government Relations Lobbying website at:


The report must include:

Online submission of the federal lobbying report must be completed within twenty working days after the end of the quarter covered by the report. The online reporting process transfers the information to the Office of Government Relations and the Office of the President. No additional paper documentation is required.


The following activities are not considered to be federal lobbying contacts:


For further information and assistance regarding federal lobbying activities, contact Government Relations at: