§ 13A08. Administration.
(a) Advice and opinions.--The commission shall provide advice and opinions under section 1107 (relating to powers and duties of commission) to a lobbyist, a lobbying firm, a principal, the department, the board or a State official or employee, that seeks advice regarding compliance with this chapter. A person that acts in good faith based on the written advice or opinion of the commission shall not be held liable for a violation of this chapter if the material facts are as stated in the request.
(b) Forms.--The department shall prescribe registration and reporting forms to be used under this chapter. The forms shall be available on a publicly accessible Internet website. All information requested on the forms shall be provided to the best of the knowledge, information and belief of the person required to file and shall be signed subject to the penalties under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).
(c) Public inspection and copying.--The department shall make completed registration statements, expense reports and notices of termination, which have been filed with the department, available for public inspection and provide copies of these documents at a price not in excess of the actual cost of copying. The department shall make all registrations and reports available on a publicly accessible Internet website. Documents maintained and reproducible in an electronic format shall be provided in that format upon request.
(d) Annual reporting.--
(1) The department shall prepare and publish an annual report on lobbying activities in this Commonwealth.
(2) The department shall at least annually publish a list of all of the following:
(i) Registered principals. The department shall identify affiliated political action committees and lobbying firms and lobbyists that are registered to lobby for the principal.
(ii) Lobbying firms and lobbyists not associated with lobbying firms. The department shall identify affiliated political action committees and the principals for whom the lobbying firm or lobbyist is registered to lobby.
(iii) Registered lobbyists for each lobbying firm.
(e) Retention of records.--Completed registration statements, expense reports and notices of termination shall be available for public inspection with the department for a four-year period commencing on the date of filing.
(f) Audits.--The following shall apply:
(1) Every two years the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall contract for the services of one or more certified public accountants or certified public accounting firms. The contract shall be awarded in a manner consistent with the provisions of 62 Pa.C.S. Pt. I (relating to Commonwealth Procurement Code), and no certified public accountant or certified public accounting firm shall be eligible to obtain a contract for two successive contract periods.
(2) The secretary shall randomly select, at a public drawing 60 days following the close of each fourth quarter reporting period, 3% of all completed registrations and expense reports filed with the department under this chapter.
(3) The certified public accountant shall conduct the audits in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and shall test as to whether each registration or expense report is materially correct.
(4) The audit report and findings shall be confidential, except that the department shall make an audit report and findings available to the commission if the commission is investigating an alleged violation of this chapter involving the audited registration or expense report. The commission shall include the relevant portion of an audit as part of its findings of fact in a commission order which results from an investigation arising out of an audit.
(g) Investigation and hearings.--The commission, through its executive director, may initiate an investigation and hold a hearing concerning an alleged violation of this chapter by a lobbyist or principal in accordance with sections 1107 (relating to powers and duties of commission) and 1108 (relating to investigations by commission).
(h) Directory.--By May 1 of each odd-numbered year, the department shall produce and distribute a directory of all registered lobbyists, including photographs and registered lobbying firms. Copies of the directory shall be made available to the public at a price not to exceed the actual cost of production. All revenue received by the department from the sales of the directory shall be deposited into the fund.
(i) Computer file.--The department shall provide the Legislative Data Processing Committee data relating to registration statements and amendments to registration statements, expense reports and notices of termination. The committee shall make information under this subsection available on a publicly accessible Internet website.
(j) Inflation adjustment.--On a biennial basis commencing in January 2009, the department shall review the threshold under section 13A06 (relating to exemption from registration and reporting) for registration under section 13A04 (relating to registration) and the threshold for reporting under section 13A05(d) (relating to reporting) and shall increase these amounts to rates deemed reasonable for assuring appropriate disclosure. On a biennial basis commencing in January 2009, the department shall review the filing fee established under section 13A10 (relating to registration fees; fund established; system; regulations) and may by regulation adjust this amount if the department determines that a higher fee is needed to cover the costs of carrying out the provisions of this chapter. The department shall publish adjusted amounts in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by June 1, 2009, and by June 1 every two years thereafter as necessary.
(k) Notices.--Notices issued by the department or the commission to a principal or lobbying firm, in accordance with this chapter, shall be delivered to the authorized representative, employee or agent.