Regulation of lobbying

General

Is lobbying self-regulated by the industry, or is it regulated by the government, legislature or an independent regulator? What are the regulator’s powers?

Lobbying activities are regulated in the rulings of the House of Representatives and of the Senate. The nature of these regulations result from an administrative procedure; in this specific case every state has its own House of Representatives, consequently every state has it own lobbying regulation.

All individuals interested in conducting lobbying activities must register in a lobbying registry valid for each legislature. The acceptance of any gift by lawmakers from lobbyists is strictly forbidden and shall be punished in accordance with the General Law of Administrative Responsibilities, and with the criminal code.

In order to procure transparency, all lobbying documents shall be published in the corresponding Congress’ chamber web page. Also a non-profit association named PROCAB is deeply involved in lobbying activities. PROCAB is in charge of registering all working lobbyists in Mexico (lobbyists may affiliate or may not, it is not mandatory) in order for them to procure events, courses or any other activities that may contribute to their effort of lobbying on behalf the interests of their clients.

Definition

Is there a definition or other guidance as to what constitutes lobbying?

Pursuant to article 298 of the Senate’s Ruling, lobbying is defined as the act of attempting to promote third parties legitimate interests, before Senate’s bodies and commissions, or before specific senators, with the purpose of influencing their decisions.

Article 263 of the House of Representative’s Ruling provides a similar definition to the aforementioned one.

Registration and other disclosure

Is there voluntary or mandatory registration of lobbyists? How else is lobbying disclosed?

It is mandatory to anyone who wishes to carry out lobbying activities to register in a specific lobbying registry (at the beginning of every legislative term).

This registration shall be published every six months in the Parliamentary Gazette and throughout the website of the House of Representatives. The registration will only be valid throughout the correspondent legislative term.

Activities subject to disclosure or registration

What communications must be disclosed or registered?

None of the communications need to be disclosed or registered before any authority or disclosed to the chambers.

Nonetheless, in terms of article 266 of the House of Representatives’ Ruling, all lobbying documents related to legislative proposals, minutes, projects and any other acts or resolutions issued by the House of Representatives shall be registered in a lobbying file. These documents must be published on the website of the House of Representatives for information and transparency purposes.

Entities and persons subject to lobbying rules

Which entities and persons are caught by the disclosure rules?

All parties involved in lobbying activities (no matter if they lobby on behalf of themselves or for third parties, including non-profit entities) are subject to Mexican lobbying regulations. There are no thresholds for registration; all lobbyists must register in the applicable registry.

Lobbyist details

What information must be registered or otherwise disclosed regarding lobbyists and the entities and persons they act for ? Who has responsibility for registering the information?

Anyone who wishes to practice lobbying activities shall provide the following information:

  • full name and a valid official ID;
  • proof of address; and
  • Congress committees or areas of interests in which the lobbying activities will be practised.
Content of reports

When must reports on lobbying activities be submitted , and what must they include?

As mentioned in question 9, all lobbying documentation related to any legislative proposals, minutes, projects or any other acts or resolutions issued by the Congress must be submitted and published for information and transparency purposes.

Financing of the registration regime

How is the registration system funded?

Although free of charge, the registration system is funded by the economic prerogatives assigned to the Congress of the Union, in the National Budget for Income and Expenses.

Public access to lobbying registers and reports

Is access to registry information and to reports available to the public?

Yes, as mentioned in questions 9 and 12, all lobbying documentation related to legislative proposals, minutes, projects and any other acts or resolutions shall be registered in a lobbying file, and published in the House of Representatives’ web page. (www.diputados.gob.mx).

Code of conduct

Is there a code of conduct that applies to lobbyists and their practice?

Currently, there is no specific code of conduct that may apply to lobbyists and their practice.

Media

Are there restrictions in broadcast and press regulation that limit commercial interests’ ability to use the media to influence public policy outcomes?

There are no restrictions to limit commercial interests’ ability to use the media to influence public policy outcomes. However, the Constitution does limit the time that the different government institutions shall allocate to radio and television broadcasting.