University of California

Research Administration Office

Memo Operating Guidance

No. 90-2

Supplement No. 3

June 26, 1995

Subject: Lobbying Restrictions -- Summary

In response to several campus requests, we have put together the attached summary of current Federal lobbying restrictions. With a few minor modifications, this summary is identical to one distributed at a Contract and Grant Conference last year.

The source documents cited in this summary are not attached in hard copy. However, publishing this summary in the C&G Memo series will make it accessible via the Worldwide Web, and we will then be able to link the documents cited in the summary to full-text copies of those documents. If you have a home page of information for Principal Investigators on your campus, you can insert a link to this summary to provide guidance on this thorny issue.

Refer: Bill Sellers, (510) 987-9847,

Subject Index: 02, 06, 19

Organization Index: U-115, F-005

David F. Mears


Research Administration Office



Prior to the imposition of explicit restrictions on Federally-funded lobbying activities performed by or for educational institutions, the principal consideration was the impact of lobbying activities on a school's tax status. The Federal cost principles for education institutions, OMB Circular A-21, was silent on the question of lobbying up until October 1991. There appears to have been general agreement, however, that direct legislative lobbying activities at the State and Federal levels do not support research, training, or public service functions. Further, public relations activities have always been unallowable. Thus the University has always counted the cost of the Washington and Sacramento offices as "other institutional activities" (OIA) in its indirect cost calculations and therefore is not included in the indirect costs charged to the Government.

The entire cost of these offices has been designated OIA even though a significant amount of time is spent on analysis and information dissemination. These latter activities do support the research, training, and public service functions and are allowable under OMB Circular A-21.

Recent Federal restrictions on lobbying stem from Section 319 of Pub. L. 101-121 (the "Byrd Amendment"). The Byrd Amendment covers both legislative branch lobbying and executive branch lobbying, and both direct and indirect forms of lobbying. The law was implemented in:

· Office of Management and Budget Interim Final Guidance for New Restrictions on Lobbying (54 FR 52306, 12/20/89).

· Office of Management and Budget clarifying Notice of the above Guidance (55 FR 24540, 6/15/90).

· Office of Management and Budget issuance of a Common Rule regarding lobbying applicable to assistance--grants and cooperative agreements (55 FR 6736, 2/26/90).

Federal Acquisition Regulations (for contracts) Subpart 3.8, Limitation on the Payment of Funds to Influence Federal Transactions, and clauses 52.203.11, Certificate and Disclosure Regarding Payments to Influence Certain Federal Transactions [APR 1991], and 52.203-12, Limitations on Payments to Influence Certain Federal Transactions [JAN 1990].

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, Sections J.17., Executive Lobbying Costs, and J.24., Lobbying.

The upshot of these regulations is to make lobbying costs (at either the State or Federal level) unallowable on Federal (or Federal flow-through) contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements, and to require reporting of lobbying activities when they are paid for with non-Federal funds and performed by outside consultants or non-regular employees. Specifically: