After Jan. 1, 2010, if you initiate contact with any agency of the City of Indianapolis, the Mayor’s office, the county offices of Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Coroner, Recorder, Sheriff, Surveyor, Treasurer or the Indianapolis City-County Council (CCC), be advised that the CCC and the Mayor have adopted a lobbyist registration ordinance regulating lobbying activity. “Lobbying activity” means any action or communication made to promote, delay, oppose, or otherwise influence an agency action. “Agency” is broadly defined to include all city agencies as well as all aforementioned city and county elected offices. Communications regarding economic development projects; responses to a solicitation made by an agency in conformance with applicable public works or procurement statutes or rules; the application for state or federal grant funding and communications regarding resolutions of claims, tax matters, audits and assessment are expressly excluded from the definition of lobbying activity.
Within 15 business days of engaging in any regulated activity a lobbyist must register with the Office Finance and Management. A “lobbyist” is defined as an individual who is primarily employed and receives payment, or who contracts for financial consideration, exceeding one thousand dollars ($1000) in any calendar year, for purposes of engaging in lobbying activity. The term "lobbyist" expressly excludes an official, appointee, or employee acting within the scope of their duties; an attorney representing a client in a public hearing, criminal or civil matters; the press; an individual whose sole purpose is information gathering; an individual employed as a salesperson to sell goods and services; or an individual invited by an agency or an official for the purpose of giving advice.
In addition to the initial filing, a lobbyist must file an annual report with the Office of Finance and Management no later than January 15 of each year. The annual report must include the name, business address, telephone number, and e-mail of the lobbyist and the lobbyist’s principle employer; the name, business address and e-mail of each party represented by the lobbyist; the total amount of payments received for each engagement during the previous calendar year; a brief description of the subject matter on which the lobbyist is engaged; the identity of the agency or agencies that were the object of the activities; and a description of expenses for any entertainment, food, drink, honoraria, travel or registration fees.
This is a simple overview of the new requirements. It’s important to note that penalties could be levied for noncompliance.