Political Activity Guidelines

Johns Hopkins University Guidelines For Political Activity 2017

Johns Hopkins Health System Guidelines For Political Activity 2017

Lobbying FAQ

American Council on Education: Memo on political campaign related activities

Lobbying Overview

The right to lobby, or petition the government to influence public policy, is one of the most treasured in a democracy. It is affirmed by the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Lobbying activities are regulated by the federal government. The rules require the university to report quarterly all lobbying activity and prohibit the use of federal funds, including grant awards, for lobbying activities.

Am I a Lobbyist?

Since 1995, under the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (2 U.S. Code, Chapter 26), amended by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, most persons who are paid to make direct "lobbying contacts" with members of Congress and officials of the federal executive branch are considered lobbyists. These individuals spend at least 20 percent of their time over a three month period lobbying and are reported on the University’s quarterly report with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

What qualifies as a "lobbying contact"?

Lobbying contact includes any oral or written communication with a covered official* on behalf of the University to influence legislation; an executive order, agency rule or position of the U.S. government; the negotiation, award or administration of a federal contract, grant, loan, permit or license."Lobbying Contact" does not include a request made to an official for a meeting; testimony provided as a member of the public on the record; information provided in writing at the request of an official; or written response to a notice in the Federal Register, Commerce Business Daily or similar publication soliciting comments from the public.

Do I need to fill out a lobbying disclosure?

If you have had any contact with an executive or legislative official on behalf of the University with regard to government policy, action, and legislation, you should complete the questionnaire. 

Federal Lobbying Disclosure Questionnaire

In accordance with the requirements of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, the Federal Affairs office submits a quarterly report of federal lobbying activity. University leadership and certain employees who have lobbied or plan to lobby receive a quarterly reminder email from the Federal Affairs office inviting them to complete an online questionnaire. If you have received such an email, feel free to complete the questionnaire and submit electronically using the link above.  If you are unsure whether you need to report lobbying activity or have related questions, contact the Federal Affairs office.

*Covered officials include any Member of Congress and their staff, the President, Vice President, White House staff, federal Department Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries, Presidential-appointed directors of federal agencies, centers and institutes (for example, the Director of NIH, the Deputy Administrator of NASA, an Assistant Secretary of the Navy, etc).