The Obama administration last week reversed a long-standing ban on registered lobbyists serving on government advisory boards.
The ban had been in place since 2009, and was part of President Obama’s attempt to limit the influence of lobbyists on his administration. The revised rule put out by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week states that registered lobbyists can serve on advisory boards as long as they are representing a corporation or trade group and not acting on their own behalf.
The change comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected the administration’s call to dismiss a lawsuit filed by six lobbyists who claimed the ban violated their First Amendment rights to petition the government.
ASAE was one of many associations that were critical of the rule when it was first put in place. At the time, ASAE urged the White House to reconsider the ban, pointing out that many association professionals serve on agency advisory boards because they have expertise in a subject area that can lead to the development of informed, effective policies.