Lobbyists don’t yet know the mechanisms of how to register, says Guy Giorno, a former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is now a partner with Fasken Martineau and an expert on lobbying law.
"The actual mechanics of registration are not in the staff report and they're not in the draft bylaw. This is a major issue," he says.
The matter is important because it leaves registration questions unanswered such as who is allowed to register, he said.
The city requires each lobbyist in a company to register individually, but it is unclear whether a secretary can register on behalf of his or her CEO, of if the head of a company can register individual applications for each lobbyist in the company.
When contacted by OBJ, the city said it is working on the registration system.
"Right now, we are beta-testing the software with several individuals who will be using the registry," wrote spokesperson Michael Fitzpatrick in an e-mail, forwarding information from the city clerk's office.
"We are taking their feedback into account, and the process will be ready and clear when we go live. We will also be holding stakeholder sessions to show people how to register."
The lobbyist registry will take effect Sept. 1.
For a primer on the city's lobbyist registry, pick up Monday's print edition of OBJ.