Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA)

The enactment and implementation of changes to the Lobby Disclosure Act of 1995, Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA), requires organizations that engage in "lobby activities" to operate under new guidelines. Under these requirements, effective January 2008, organizations, including public universities, need to have systems in place to account for certain congressional and federal agency activities if certain thresholds are met. The LDA was amended by HLOGA, halving the registration thresholds organizations that employ "in-house lobbyists" from the 1996 thresholds.

Having met the lowered threshold, The Texas A&M University System registered and reported under this Act since the first quarter of 2008 as required. As a member of the A&M System, Texas A&M University employees that engage in "lobbying activities" as defined by the HLOGA should account and report such activities. Even though only one Texas A&M employee may meet the "lobbyist" threshold, certain lobbying-related activities made on behalf of the organization are required to be reported and should be reported to the Office of Government Relations for handling at (979) 458-0282 or .

Criminal penalties may be applicable to an employee that "knowingly and corruptly fails to comply with any provision in the Act."

Engaging Federal Government Officials

HLOGA Decision Tree

1. Are you planning to contact any of the following positions in relation to or under the auspices of Texas A&M University? (do not include activity under the auspices of a professional association or the like.)

    • Member of Congress
    • An elected officer of either house of Congress
    • Employees of a member of Congress, committee, leadership staff, joint committee working group or caucus
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Any officer or employee in the Executive Office of the President
    • An Executive Schedule level I-V officer or employee
    • Any member of the armed services at or above pay grade 0-7 

2. If yes to Question #1, are you contacting via oral, written or electronic communication in which any of the following will occur — activities relating to:

    • Formulation, modification, or adoption of Federal legislation,
    • The administration or execution of a federal program or policy,
    • Formulation, modification or adoption of a federal rule, or adoption of a federal rule, regulation, Executive Order, policy or position of the United States Government, or
    • The nomination or confirmation of a person subject to confirmation of the Senate

However, the following activities are not considered reportable:

    • A speech, article, publication or other material that is distributed and made available to the public through a medium of mass communication,
    • A request for a meeting, a request for the status of an action, or other similar administrative request,
    • Testimony given before Congress or submitted for inclusion in the public record,
    • Information provided in writing in response to an oral or written request, or in response to a request for public comments in the Federal Register
    • Required by subpoena or civil investigative demand,
    • Written comment filed in the course of a public proceeding, or
    • Made by the media if the purpose is gathering and disseminating news to the public

3. If yes to Question #2, please email .