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2009 Lobbying Disclosure: Observations on Lobbyists' Compliance with Disclosure Requirements

GAO-10-499 Published: Apr 01, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 01, 2010.
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The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 amended the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA). This is GAO's third report in response to the LDA's requirement for GAO to annually (1) determine the extent to which lobbyists can demonstrate compliance with the LDA by providing support for information on their registrations and reports, (2) identify challenges and potential improvements to compliance for registered lobbyists, and (3) describe the efforts the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia (the Office) has made to improve its enforcement of the LDA. GAO reviewed a random sample of 134 lobbying disclosure reports filed from the fourth quarter of calendar year 2008 through the third quarter of calendar year 2009. GAO also selected two random samples of federal political campaign contributions reports from year-end 2008 through midyear 2009. GAO sampled 100 reports listing contributions and 100 reports listing no contributions. This methodology allowed GAO to generalize to the population of 53,756 disclosure reports, 10,928 contributions reports, and 22,572 reports with no contributions. GAO also met with officials from the Office regarding efforts to focus resources on lobbyists who fail to comply with the LDA.

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AccountabilityData collectionData integrityDatabasesDocumentationFederal lawFinancial disclosureFinancial statementsInformation disclosureLobbying activitiesNoncompliancePolitical contributionsRecordsRecords managementReporting requirementsComplianceTransparency