In December 1989, the Office of Management and Budget published regulations to restrict lobbying activities of employees and consultants of federal grant and contract recipients. While the regulations were published as “interim final guidelines,” they were effective for all awards made after December 23, 1989.
The regulations prohibit the use of federal funds for lobbying members of congress, their staffs or employees of federal agencies on a specific grant, contract or cooperative agreement that exceeds $100,000. This includes new awards or modifications and amendments to existing awards. The University is being asked to certify for each project that no lobbying has taken or will take place.
The regulations are not clear on what constitutes lobbying. They use the term “influencing or attempting to influence” and define it as follows:
“Influencing or attempting to influence means making, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before an officer or employee of any agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress in connection with any covered Federal action.”
Sanctions for violation of the regulations are subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such incident.