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News & Press: Association News

AITP in Action: AITP Adopts Lobbying Policy

Wednesday, March 24, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Norbert Kubilus -- Legislative & Regulatory Affair
Members and prospective members frequently ask whether AITP uses any portion of its membership dues for lobbying at the Federal, state or local level. For over 20 years, the Association policy has been that we do not engage as an Association in lobbying or political campaign activities.

Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee
The purpose of the Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee is to advise AITP members and the Association Board of Directors ("ABoD") on Federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives, as well as legislative and regulatory issues affecting Canada and Europe. The Committee drafts position statements on legislative and regulatory issues for ABoD approval. Approved position statements are published for public consumption and consideration by legislators and regulators. Individual Committee members provide testimony before legislative bodies and government agencies on technology-related issues.

Political Activity
Many professional and trade associations have organized Political Action Committees (or PACs), the purpose of which is to elect political candidates. Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, an organization becomes a "political committee" by receiving contributions or making expenditures in excess of $1,000 for the purpose of influencing a Federal election. AITP is not involved in any such political activity.

Association Lobbying Policy
At its February 24, 2010 meeting, ABoD formalized the Association Lobbying policy as follows:

It is the policy of the Association to not engage in lobbying or political campaign activities.
  1. The Association shall not use membership dues revenue to employ or retain a person or firm to conduct lobbying or political campaign activities on behalf of the Association.

  2. Research and preparation of Association position statements by the Association Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee are not intended for a "lobbying contact" or for coordination with the lobbying activities of others. These Association position statements must be approved by Association Board of Directors ("ABoD") before they are published for public distribution and consideration by legislators and/or regulators.

  3. The following activities are permitted and do not constitute a "lobbying contact":

    • A speech, article, publication or other material referencing an approved Association position statement that is made available to the public;
    • Giving testimony before a committee, subcommittee, or task force of a legislative or regulatory body, or submitting testimony for inclusion in the public record of a hearing conducted by such committee, subcommittee, or task force;
    • Responding in writing to an oral or written request by a public official for specific technical or professional information or advice;
    • Providing an Association position statement in response to a notice in the Federal Register, Commerce Business Daily, or other similar publication soliciting communications from the public and directed to the regulatory agency official specifically designated in the notice to receive such communications;
    • Filing a written comment in the course of a public proceeding or any other communication that is made on the record in a public proceeding.
Failure to comply with this policy may result in violation of the Federal Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (Pubic Law 110-81) and/or similar state laws or local ordinances, the Association losing its tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, and/or the inability of the Association to recruit or retain members from Federal, state or local governments.

AITP in ActionThe Association Lobbying Policy does not restrict members as individuals from contacting legislators or regulators. On the contrary, AITP members are encouraged to be active in discussions concerning technology-related legislation and regulations. Individual members may use and/or reference approved Association position statements when interacting with legislators and regulators.

AITP in Action is a series of educational, advocacy and community service programs sponsored by the Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee. For more information, contact AITP in Action.

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