Government Operations:

H.R. 3078, The Federal Agency Anti-Lobbying Act

T-OGC-96-18: Published: May 15, 1996. Publicly Released: May 15, 1996.

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GAO provided information on the proposed Federal Agency Anti-Lobbying Act, focusing on: (1) the role that the legislation would play in investigating alleged anti-lobbying restrictions; (2) the lobbying activities that H.R. 3078 would restrict; and (3) the potential impact of H.R. 3078 on the GAO workload. GAO noted that: (1) the legislation would not affect its role in investigating anti-lobbying restrictions and reporting suspicious activity to Congress; (2) the language of H.R. 3078 would be similar to the anti-lobbying restrictions in the Department of the Interior appropriation acts, but would restrict the use of public funds to agencies with appropriations; (3) H.R. 3078 gives examples of prohibited lobbying activities drawn from provisions of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriation acts; (4) H.R. 3078 would prohibit the use of appropriated funds to promote public support or opposition to a pending legislative proposal; (5) it has found statutory restriction violations in two separate cases, but in a third case it concluded that the behavior was strictly informational; (6) an agency's intent is an important element when determining if a lobbying violation has occurred; and (7) initial enactment of H.R. 3078 would increase the number of requests for investigations, but it would also authorize the Comptroller General to obtain assistance from various Inspectors General.

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