TenCate Lobbying Disclosure Act Compliance Portal

TenCate is registered and files reports under the Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (“LDA”).  This portal provides a substantive overview of the implications for a company that is registered under the LDA, and the reporting requirements for TenCate and its lobbyist-employees. Moreover the site is meant to be a resource for employees to understand what reporting requirements may be required of them.

Necessary information for our employees can be found on the various links and documents that are hosted on this site.

Gift Rules- A Primer

-What is a Gift?-

Generally, a Member of Congress or congressional employee may accept a gift valued at less than $50, so long as the total value of gifts from one source in a calendar year is less than $100.  However, companies that are registered under the LDA are not entitled to the $50/$100 gift rule.  Such companies, including any employees acting on their behalf, may not make a gift to a member of Congress or congressional staffer unless the gift fits within a specific gift rule exception. More information can be found on the right hand side.


  • What Defines an Allowable Reception?What Defines an Allowable Reception?

    It depends on branch of government....


    • Hors d'oeuvres & beverages
    • Coffee & bagels
    • No sit-down meal
    • No one-on-one meetings

    Executive Branch

    • $20 per person limit & $50 per year
    • Coffee, donuts, etc.
    • Officials often have to pay to attend
  • What is Bundling?What is Bundling?

    “Bundling” is the term used to describe certain fundraisers who collect and forward contributions from individuals and PACs or who receive credit in some manner for contributions directly sent to a recipient committee.  The federal bundling statute, along with FEC rules, mandate that federal candidates, leadership PACs, and political party committees report the names of those federal lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and their PACs that “bundle” two or more contributions worth more than $17,300 in a six-month period. The obligation to file bundling reports falls solely on the recipient committee; however, companies that are lobbyist employers and that engage in bundling should be alert to how and when contributions will be reported.

    The simple fact that a federal lobbyist or a lobbyist employer hosts a fundraiser or holds a fundraiser on the employer’s premises does not alone constitute a reportable act of bundling.  Contributions are considered bundled only if they are either (1) forwarded to a reporting committee by a company employing a federal lobbyist or an individual federal lobbyist (or someone acting on their behalf) or (2) received by the reporting committee and credited to TenCate or a TenCate federal lobbyist.

    Reporting is not required for contributions bundled by a non-lobbyist TenCate employee acting in his or her personal capacity.  Likewise, if a lobbyist forwards a personal check to a reporting committee, or a check from his or her spouse, those checks are not considered bundled contributions. The recipient committees are responsible for deciding who receives “credit” for contributions for the purposes of bundling reports.


  • What is a Lobbying Contact?What is a Lobbying Contact?

    What is a Lobbying Contact
    A “lobbying contact” means any oral or written communication (including e-mail) with a covered federal official through which a person seeks to influence legislation, government programs, or the negotiation or award of a federal contract.  It is considered lobbying when company employees meet with Members of Congress, congressional staffers, or covered executive branch official and employees to influence the formulation, modification, or adoption of:

    • Federal legislation;
    • Federal rules and regulations;
    • Executive Orders;
    • Any policy, program or position of the United States government;
    • The administration or execution of a federal program or policy (including the negotiation, award, or administration of a federal contract, grant, loan, permit, or license); or
    • The nomination or confirmation of a person subject to confirmation by the Senate through communication with federal executive branch officials.

    Certain kinds of communications are not considered “lobbying contacts,” such as requests for a meeting or similar administrative requests, so long as the contact does not include an attempt to influence a covered official.  Also, it is not lobbying when an employee provides information, in writing, to a covered official who has requested that information. Grassroots lobbying regarding federal legislation or executive action is also not considered lobbying under the LDA.

    What is a Lobbying Activity
    As noted above, to qualify as a federal lobbyist, an employee must spend more than 20% of his or her time during a calendar quarter on “lobbying activities.”  “Lobbying activities” are defined more broadly than “lobbying contacts.”  They include direct communications and time spent “behind-the-scenes” in support of such contacts, such as:

    • Preparing for meetings;
    • Planning and research;
    • Drafting materials, such as talking points for a meeting;
    • Participating in the development of lobbying strategy; or
    • Having lunch or coffee with a covered official and discussing issues on which the registered corporation is lobbying.

    The key to determining what constitutes “lobbying activities” is to look at why the activity is being done.  If the intent is to support ongoing or future lobbying, then it falls within the definition of lobbying activities.  If, on the other hand, an employee is gathering information or drafting materials for some purpose unrelated to contact with public officials, then it is not.  Sometimes only a portion of an expense may be allocated to lobbying, such as expenses incurred on a mixed-purpose business trip.

    The definition of lobbying activities is also important for reporting purposes.  Once a corporation is registered, it must account on a quarterly basis for all expenses incurred for lobbying activities.  Even if an employee devotes less than 20% of his or her time to lobbying activities and does not qualify as a lobbyist, the compensation paid to the employee for time spent on lobbying activities must be captured on the company’s quarterly lobbying expense report, as described below.
  • What Constitutes a Lobbying Expense?What Constitutes a Lobbying Expense?
    A company is required to account for the amount spent on salary, expenses, and overhead costs for lobbying activity. If the amount exceeds $12,500 in a calendar quarter the employer is required to registerd under the as a lobbying entity. So what constitutes a Lobbying Expense?

    • Compensation Paid for those engaged in lobbying activity (even non-lobbyists)
    • Rent and Overhead
    • Other expenses - travel, hotel, meals
    • Payments to outside consultants for lobbying activity (when obligation to pay is incurred)
    • Payments to trade associations and coalitions for lobbying activity (when a payment is made)
  • What is a Gift?What is a Gift?
    Generally, a Member of Congress or congressional employee may accept a gift valued at less than $50, so long as the total value of gifts from one source in a calendar year is less than $100.  However, companies that are registered under the LDA are not entitled to the $50/$100 gift rule.  Such companies, including any employees acting on their behalf, may not make a gift to a member of Congress or congressional staffer unless the gift fits within a specific gift rule exception.  More information can be found on the right hand side.
  • What is a Federal Lobbyist?What is a Federal Lobbyist?

    Under the LDA, an entity employing one or more federal lobbyists is required to register and identify each of its employee-lobbyists. The employees themselves do not separately register.  An employee qualifies as a federal lobbyist, and thereby triggers the employer’s obligation to register, if he or she:

    • Makes more than one “lobbying contact” with a Member of Congress, a congressional staffer, or a covered member of the  executive branch; and
    • Spends at least 20% of his or her time on “lobbying activities” within a calendar quarter.
  • What is A Covered Official?What is A Covered Official?
    Covered Executive Branch Official:
    The application of coverage of Section 3(3)(F) of the LDA (who is a covered Executive Branch official) was intended for Schedule C employees only. Senior Executive Service employees are not covered Executive Branch officials as defined in the Act unless they fall within one of the categories below. Covered Executive Branch officials are:

    • The President
    • The Vice President
    • Officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President
    • Any official serving in an Executive Level I through V position
    • Any member of the uniformed services serving at grade O-7 or above
    • Schedule C employees.

    Covered Legislative Branch Official:

    Covered Legislative Branch officials are:

    • A Member of Congress
    • An elected Officer of either the House or the Senate
    • An employee, or any other individual functioning in the capacity of an employee, who works for a Member, committee, leadership staff of either the Senate or House, a joint committee of Congress, a working group or caucus organized to provide services to Members, and any other Legislative Branch employee serving in a position described under Section 109(13) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.
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