Disclosing lobbying activities

Lobbying activities must be reported on the disclosure of activities submitted in the electronic system of the Transparency Register. Each subject must be reported separately, and the lobbying targets and contact methods must be given for each subject.

Sustained and systematic lobbying that targets Parliament and ministries must be reported to the Transparency Register. The disclosure of activities must be submitted twice a year. The lobbying activities carried out between January and June must be reported in July–August, and the lobbying activities carried out between July and December must be reported in January–February.

Which activities must be disclosed to the Transparency Register?

Disclosing the subject

The lobbying activities must be disclosed to the Transparency Register by subject.

You can describe the subject in a free-form manner or by referring to the project number.

The free-form description can have a length of between 50 and 600 characters. Describe the subject, project, legislation, budget or other similar matter targeted by the lobbying. The description should be short and clear and as accurate as possible. In other words, the subject of lobbying is any matter in which the organisation has carried out lobbying. Describe the subject as clearly as possible and do not use subjects that are too general in nature.

If the lobbying has targeted an official project you can refer to the project using the official Government project number [link], in which case no free-form description is required.

The Transparency Register is not a meeting journal, which means that you do not need to disclose when and how many times you have met a specific lobbying target.

For the subject, all lobbying targets and the contact methods used must be disclosed. Read more about lobbying targets.

Small-scale lobbying

Actors carrying out small-scale lobbying activities do not need to register in the Transparency Register. When the activities are no longer in small scale (comprise more than five contacts during a year) the actor must register in the Transparency Register.

In small-scale lobbying, there are no more than five contacts between an organisation and the lobbying targets during a calendar year.

The five contacts include all contacts made by the organisation with all lobbying targets. For example, a telephone conversation, a meeting or an email message is considered one contact. However, a contact, such as an email, may have more than one recipient in more than one organisation. It is nevertheless considered a single contact.

An organisation may already have registered in the Transparency Register and submitted disclosures of its lobbying activities. However, during a particular year, it may have no more than five contacts with lobbying targets, which means that during that year, its activities are in small scale. In such cases, the organisation only needs to state in its disclosure of activities submitted in July–August that its activities in the period January–June of that year were in small scale. However, in its disclosure of activities submitted in January–February, the organisation must also report these small-scale lobbying activities for the whole of the preceding calendar year. Read more about small-scale lobbying in sections 3–7 of the Questions and answers page.

Submitting the disclosure of lobbying and lobbying consultancy activities

Lobbying and lobbying consultancy activities must be disclosed in the service portal of the Finnish Transparency Register. A person with the required authorisation can submit the disclosure of activities on behalf of their organisation. Only registered organisations can submit the disclosure of activities.

Information can only be disclosed during the disclosure periods (in July and August and in January and February). You can edit and supplement the most recent disclosure of activities throughout the disclosure period.

1. Log in to the Finnish Transparency Register. Click here to find more detailed instructions for logging in.

2. If the disclosure period is open or you have not yet submitted your organisation’s disclosure of activities for the period, the button ‘Submit a disclosure of activities’ is displayed on the service portal’s front page. Click the button.

1. Scale of the lobbying activities

1. When submitting the disclosure of activities, first determine the scale of your lobbying in accordance with the amount of the lobbying carried out during the reporting period. The reporting periods are January–June and July–August.

However, the period for which you must report your lobbying activities may vary based on your previous selections (small scale of the activities). Thus, you may have to disclose the subjects for the previous six months or for the whole year. The system states which period applies to you.

2. The alternatives for the scale of lobbying are as follows:

  • ‘More than five contacts or the activities have constituted lobbying consultancy’

    • Select this alternative if your organisation has been in contact with the targets of lobbying more than five times during the previous reporting period. You will receive a disclosure of activities for completion.

  • ‘Up to five contacts’ Select this alternative if your organisation has been in contact with the targets of lobbying a maximum of five times during the previous reporting period.

    • If you are submitting information in the disclosure period June–July, you do not need to disclose the subjects of the small-scale lobbying. Give between one and four email addresses to which you want to receive acknowledgement of receipt, and publish the disclosure. The email addresses are not published. You have submitted the disclosure and you can now log out of the Finnish Transparency Register.

    • If you are submitting information in the disclosure period January–February, the system directs you to disclose the activities for the whole year or for the reporting period, depending on your selection for the disclosure period June–July.

  • ‘No contacts’

    • Select this alternative if your organisation did not have any contacts with targets of lobbying during the previous reporting period.

    • In the disclosure period June–July, add between one and four email addresses to which you want to receive acknowledgement of receipt, and publish the disclosure. The email addresses are not published. You have submitted the disclosure and you can now log out of the Finnish Transparency Register.

    • In the disclosure period January–February, the system directs you to disclose subjects not yet disclosed for the previous year (if you have disclosed small-scale activities for the early part of the year) or the disclosure can be published unchanged.

The information contained in the figure is provided in the body text.

Figure 1. Select the scale of your lobbying activities during the reporting period given. The ‘Disclose subject’ button will appear if you must report the subjects of your organisation’s lobbying activities.

2. Disclose your lobbying activities

1. Click ‘Disclose subject’ (Figure 1).

2. Select ‘Lobbying’ as the type of lobbying activities. A form opens on which you are asked to give the subject and targets of your lobbying activities (Figure 2).

Note that ‘Lobbying consultancy’, ‘Lobbying on behalf of a client’ and ‘Public relations activities of a provider of consultancy’ are intended for organisations that pursue lobbying consultancy as a business activity. If necessary, see separate instructions on disclosing lobbying consultancy activities.

The information contained in the figure is provided in the body text.

Figure 2. You must give the subject and targets of your lobbying activities as well as the method that you have used to communicate with the targets.

3. Enter one subject in which your organisation has carried out lobbying activities. Your organisation can specify the subject or it may involve an official Government project:

  • ‘Own subject’

    • Use 50–600 characters to describe the subject in which your organisation has carried out lobbying activities. The description should be as detailed as possible. For more detailed instructions, see ‘Disclosing the subject’ above.

OR

  • ‘Official project’

    • Select this alternative if you are carrying out lobbying in connection with an official Government project. Enter the project number in the search field and press Enter or click the magnifying class. Click the project name to add it to the disclosure. The search function will only give the right results if all letters of the project number are capitalised.

4. Click ‘Add targets’ to add the targets of lobbying. The button opens a new window showing a table listing all targets of lobbying specified in the Transparency Register Act (Figure 3).

Filter the results by organisation, department, unit, job title or name to find the right targets from the table. Select at once only the targets that have been targeted in the same manner. Then add one or more method of communication to them and click ‘Add’.

The ‘Add targets’ window will not close, and to the same subject you can add more targets that have been contacted by other means and add them by clicking ‘Add’.

Tip! For example, if you want to add all Members of Parliament, enter ‘MP’ in the ‘Title’ column search bar and click ‘Select all’. Note that the ministers serving as Members of Parliament must be added separately. To do this, click ‘Minister’ and select all.

5. Click ‘Close’ after you have added all targets. You will return to the previous view in which the added targets are shown in the table (Figure 4).

You can delete all targets by clicking ‘Delete all targets’ or one target by clicking the tick after the target.

Figure 3. You can filter and search for targets by organisation, department, unit, job title or name. Select the right targets and add the methods that you have used to communicate with them.

The information contained in the figure is provided in the body text.

Figure 4. The targets that you have selected are shown in the disclosure as a table.

6. Click ‘Add the subject to the disclosure’ to add a subject to your disclosure of activities.

7. After adding the subject, you can select whether to add the next subject as a new subject (blank form) or on the basis of the previous subject (editing the copy of the previous subject). You can also close the subject entry if there are no further subjects or you want to continue later.

The information contained in the figure is provided in the body text.

Figure 5. You can add the next subject as a new subject or edit the copy of the subject that you just entered. Copying is recommended when, for example, the targets are the same but the subjects are different.

8. When you stop entering subjects, you return to ‘Submit a disclosure of activities’ page. The subjects that you have given are listed in the table.

The information contained in the figure is provided in the body text.

Figure 6. The subjects that you have added are listed in the table on ‘Submit a disclosure of activities’ page. You can view, edit or delete these subjects. You can save the disclosure as a draft or publish it.

3. Saving the draft disclosure of activities

You do not need to enter all information in the disclosure of activities at one go as you can save it as a draft and complete the disclosure later. Note however that you can only save the draft after you have entered all details of the subject.

1. Click ‘Save draft’ on ‘Submit a disclosure of activities’ page. The system also saves information automatically, and in such cases all successfully added subjects are saved in the disclosure of activities.

2. You can log out of the Finnish Transparency Register. Anybody authorised to act on behalf of the organisation in question in the Finnish Transparency Register can add further information to the disclosure of activities.

Remember to publish the draft disclosure before the end of the disclosure period. A disclosure published after the end of the disclosure period will be marked as late.

4. Publishing the disclosure of activities

You can publish the disclosure of activities after you have reported all subjects of your organisation for the reporting period in question.

1. You can add to the disclosure between one and four email addresses to which you want to receive acknowledgement of the publication. The acknowledgement is also automatically sent to the email addresses that are given in the registration.

2. Click ‘Publish’ to publish the disclosure of activities. The disclosure will be immediately published on the public website of the Finnish Transparency Register.

Note that all disclosures published after the end of the disclosure period will be marked as late.

3. If you notice any errors, you can freely edit the disclosure of activities when the disclosure period is open. After the end of the disclosure period, you can report needs for change to the controller at avoimmuusrekisteri@vtv.fi.

5. Editing the disclosure of activities

You can freely edit the draft disclosure of activities, and you can also edit the published disclosure when the disclosure period is open. After the end of the disclosure period, you can report needs for change to the controller at avoimuusrekisteri@vtv.fi.

1. Log in to the Transparency Register’s service portal.

2. Click ‘Continue with the disclosure of activities’ or ‘Edit the disclosure of activities’ on the service portal’s front page. The text of the button depends on whether the disclosure of activities has been saved as a draft or published.

3. Follow the instructions below to edit the subjects that you have disclosed.

Note that when you are editing a published disclosure, each subject that you have deleted, edited or added will become public after you have confirmed it. A new version of the disclosure is created after each edit.

Viewing subjects

You can view the added subjects in a table or in a separate view, which you can open by clicking anywhere on the subject row.

Note that you can specify the information shown in the table by selecting the options at the top of the table that you want to have displayed in the table.

Editing subjects

You can open a subject for editing by clicking the pencil icon at the end of the row. In the edit view, you can edit all information that you have entered.

Deleting subjects

To delete a subject, click the tick at the end of the subject row and confirm the deletion.

Note that each added subject is saved in the disclosure automatically. This means that if you want to delete a subject, you must delete it by clicking the tick. Leaving the form without saving the disclosure will not delete the subjects you have added.

The information contained in the figure is provided in the body text.

Figure 7. Changes to the published disclosure of activities are published immediately after the confirmation message.