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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Lobby-related powers of the commission
Legislative (LEG) CHAPTER 32, ARTICLE 1-A
§ 1-d. Lobby-related powers of the commission. In addition to any
other powers and duties provided by section ninety-four of the executive
law, the commission shall, with respect to its lobbying-related
functions only, have the power and duty to:

(a) administer and enforce all the provisions of this article;

(b) conduct a program of random audits subject to the terms and
conditions of this section. Any such program shall be carried out in the
following manner:

(i) The commission may randomly select reports or registration
statements required to be filed by lobbyists or clients pursuant to this
article for audit. Any such selection shall be done in a manner pursuant
to which the identity of any particular lobbyist or client whose
statement or report is selected for audit is unknown to the commission,
its staff or any of their agents prior to selection.

(ii) The commission shall develop protocols for the conduct of such
random audits. Such random audits may require the production of books,
papers, records or memoranda relevant and material to the preparation of
the selected statements or reports, for examination by the commission.
Any such protocols shall ensure that similarly situated statements or
reports are audited in a uniform manner.

(iii) The commission shall contract with an outside accounting entity,
which shall monitor the process pursuant to which the commission selects
statements or reports for audit and carries out the provisions of
paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this subdivision and certifies that such
process complies with the provisions of such paragraphs.

(iv) Upon completion of a random audit conducted in accordance with
the provisions of paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of this subdivision,
the commission shall determine whether there is reasonable cause to
believe that any such statement or report is inaccurate or incomplete.
Upon a determination that such reasonable cause exists, the commission
may require the production of further books, records or memoranda,
subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance and testimony and administer
oaths or affirmations, to the extent the commission determines such
actions are necessary to obtain information relevant and material to
investigating such inaccuracies or omissions;

(c) conduct hearings pursuant to article seven of the public officers
law. Any hearing may be conducted as a video conference in accordance
with the provisions of subdivision four of section one hundred four of
the public officers law;

(d) prepare uniform forms for the statements and reports required by
this article;

(e) meet at least once during each bi-monthly reporting period of the
year as established by subdivision (a) of section one-h of this article
and may meet at such other times as the commission, or the chair and
vice-chair jointly, shall determine;

(f) issue advisory opinions to those under its jurisdiction. Such
advisory opinions, which shall be published and made available to the
public, shall not be binding upon such commission except with respect to
the person to whom such opinion is rendered, provided, however, that a
subsequent modification by such commission of such an advisory opinion
shall operate prospectively only; and

(g) submit by the first day of March next following the year for which
such report is made to the governor and the members of the legislature
an annual report summarizing the commission's work, listing the
lobbyists and clients required to register pursuant to this article and
the expenses and compensation reported pursuant to this article and
making recommendations with respect to this article. The commission
shall make this report available free of charge to the public.

(h) provide an online ethics training course for individuals
registered as lobbyists pursuant to section one-e of this article. The
curriculum for the course shall include, but not be limited to,
explanations and discussions of the statutes and regulations of New York
concerning ethics in the public officers law, the election law, the
legislative law, summaries of advisory opinions, underlying purposes and
principles of the relevant laws, and examples of practical application
of these laws and principles. The commission shall prepare those methods
and materials necessary to implement the curriculum. Each individual
registered as a lobbyist pursuant to section one-e of this article shall
complete such training course at least once in any three-year period
during which he or she is registered as a lobbyist.