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Lobby Law Unit

In 2006, Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn worked together to enact ground-breaking legislation that reformed the City's Lobbying Law to make lobbying activities more transparent. The revised law requires lobbyists to report their lobbying activities with more specificity; prohibits Campaign Finance Board matching funds for lobbyists' campaign contributions; prohibits lobbyists from offering gifts to public servants; created an electronic filing system; requires lobbyists to disclose their fundraising and consulting activities; strengthened the City Clerk's enforcement powers; and increased penalties for violations of the law. The revised law also requires the Department of Investigation to investigate “willful” violations of the law and to assist the City Clerk for the purpose of training personnel, who are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the law, on audit and investigative procedures. In response, the Department of Investigation created an office for these purposes, establishing in 2007 the new Lobby Law Unit, which implemented a framework that includes regular and ad hoc meetings with the Lobbying Bureau of the City Clerk's office to discuss its audits and investigations; training the City Clerk's staff; reviewing their audit protocols, forms, and audit reports; and advising them with respect to enforcement actions. The Lobby Law Unit has also undertaken several audits of its own to familiarize itself with the industry.
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