**Pending Approval of the Board of Directors**
CODE OF CONDUCT
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS ASSOCIATION (GRA)
Government Relations (GR) & Lobbying are integral parts of the nation’s democratic process, both here in the US and in many countries around the world. Our public officials need to hear and receive information from stakeholders in order to make informed policy decisions. To support this process, stakeholders often retain GR professionals to represent, promote and actively advocate for their positions.
To ensure the highest ethical standards for practitioners of GR and lobbying, these Codes of Conduct shall be disseminated and promoted, and are the basic guidelines intended to preserve and promote trust and confidence in this profession. All practitioners of GR and Lobbying are strongly encouraged to understand and adhere to these principles.
Article I – Integrity
GR professionals should practice at all times with honesty and integrity, to include:
- Being truthful in communicating with clients and stakeholders, and public policy representatives to ensure their information is current, correct and accurate.
- If after dissemination of such information the GR professional either discovers or is told that the information is not accurate, he or she should promptly provide clients, stakeholders and public policy representatives with the correct and accurate update as quickly as possible.
Article II – Compliance with All Laws, Regulations, Rules
GR professionals shall comply with all laws, regulations and rules concerning our profession at all times.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists should be familiar with all rules and regulations governing the GR profession and shall not be in violation of such rules and regulations.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists shall not cause any public policy representative to violate any laws, rules or regulations that govern their profession.
Article III – Professional Conduct
GR professionals and Lobbyists should perform their duties in a professional and ethical manner.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists should have a firm understanding of the processes involving the representation of their clients and stakeholders, and seek to remain current as such processes evolve over time.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists should seek to enhance their understanding of the processes governing their profession through continuing study, seminars, webinars and classes that seek to improve and enhance their professional understanding and conduct.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists shall treat all colleagues, clients, stakeholders, public policy representatives and members of the public, media and academia with courtesy and respect.
Article IV – Conflicts of Interest
GR professionals and Lobbyists shall avoid representation that may create conflicts of interest without the full informed consent of the client or stakeholder.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists should not advocate a position if also representing another client or stakeholder on the same issue but from a conflicting position.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists should inform and obtain consent from the client or stakeholder if representation of another client or stakeholder may be affected.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists should immediately inform a potential client or stakeholder of all possible conflicts and seek to resolve these conflicts in an expeditious manner.
Article V – Due Diligence
GR professionals and Lobbyists shall represent the client and stakeholder to the best of their ability, with determination and diligence.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists shall devote adequate and appropriate time, energy, and resources to the client or stakeholder’s issues and interests.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists shall dedicate loyalty to the client and stakeholder, and represent the issues and interests with fidelity.
- GR professionals and Lobbyists shall keep the client or stakeholder informed fully and expeditiously on all work, progress, and developments concerning the issues and interests so that the client or stakeholder may be apprised of any and all options and decisions that need to be addressed.
Article VI – Compensation and Terms
GR professionals and Lobbyists should have consistent, transparent and equitable terms and conditions of compensation for all clients and stakeholders.
Article VII – Confidentiality
GR professionals and Lobbyists shall maintain all appropriate confidentiality of their clients, stakeholders, and the issues and interests being promoted on their behalf. Such info will not be disclosed without the client or stakeholder’s permission and consent, and shall not be used for future or other purposes outside of the initial terms of agreement.
Article VIII -- Public Education and Advocacy
GR professionals and Lobbyists shall seek to promote the value of the rights to representation, of the First Amendment, and of democratic principles that address the right of individuals to seek and retain representation for “seeking redress of grievances” with their elected government.
Article IX – Fidelity to Government Institutions
GR professionals and Lobbyists should exhibit appropriate respect for the public, private and government institutions that they approach on behalf of their clients and stakeholders. They should not act in any way that might undermine either the public trust or public confidence in these institutions or the democratic process.