Code of Ethics

At WSW, our work is guided by the highest standards of ethical conduct. As a member of the American League of Lobbyists (ALL), our team adheres to the following code, and provides ongoing, required training for all staff members to ensure compliance with all federal laws, rules, and regulations governing our activities.

The American League Of Lobbyists Code of Ethics

Article I – Honesty & Integrity

A lobbyist should conduct lobbying activities with honesty and integrity.

1.1. A lobbyist should be truthful in communicating with public officials and with other interested persons and should seek to provide factually correct, current and accurate information.
1.2. If a lobbyist determines that the lobbyist has provided a public official or other interested person with factually inaccurate information of a significant, relevant, and material nature, the lobbyist should promptly provide the factually accurate information to the interested person.
1.3. If a material change in factual information that the lobbyist provided previously to a public official causes the information to become inaccurate and the lobbyist knows the public official may still be relying upon the information, the lobbyist should provide accurate and updated information to the public official.

Article II – Compliance With Applicable Laws, Regulations & Rules

A lobbyist should seek to comply fully with all laws, regulations and rules applicable to the lobbyist.

2.1. A lobbyist should be familiar with laws, regulations and rules applicable to the lobbying profession and should not engage in any violation of such laws, regulations and rules.
2.2. A lobbyist should not cause a public official to violate any law, regulation or rule applicable to such public official.

Article III – Professionalism

A lobbyist should conduct lobbying activities in a fair and professional manner.

3.1. A lobbyist should have a basic understanding of the legislative and governmental process and such specialized knowledge as is necessary to represent clients or an employer in a competent, professional manner.
3.2. A lobbyist should maintain the lobbyist’s understanding of governmental processes and specialized knowledge through appropriate methods such as continuing study, seminars and similar sessions in order to represent clients or an employer in a competent, professional manner.
3.3. A lobbyist should treat others — both allies and adversaries — with respect and civility.

Article IV – Conflicts of Interest

A lobbyist should not continue or undertake representations that may create conflicts of interest without the informed consent of the client or potential client involved.

4.1. A lobbyist should avoid advocating a position on an issue if the lobbyist is also representing another client on the same issue with a conflicting position.
4.2. If a lobbyist’s work for one client on an issue may have a significant adverse impact on another client’s interests, the lobbyist should inform and obtain consent from the other client whose interests may be affected of this fact even if the lobbyist is not representing the other client on the same issue.
4.3. A lobbyist should disclose all potential conflicts to the client or prospective client and discuss and resolve the conflict issues promptly.
4.4. A lobbyist should inform the client if any other person is receiving a direct or indirect referral or consulting fee from the lobbyist due to or in connection with the client’s work and the amount of such fee or payment.

Article V – Due Diligence and Best Efforts

A lobbyist should vigorously and diligently advance and advocate the client’s or employer’s interests.

5.1. A lobbyist should devote adequate time, attention, and resources to the client’s or employer’s interests.
5.2. A lobbyist should exercise loyalty to the client’s or employer’s interests.
5.3. A lobbyist should keep the client or employer informed regarding the work that the lobbyist is undertaking and, to the extent possible, should give the client the opportunity to choose between various options and strategies.

Article VI – Compensation and Engagement Terms

An independent lobbyist who is retained by a client should have a written agreement with the client regarding the terms and conditions for the lobbyist’s services, including the amount of and basis for compensation.

Article VII – Confidentiality

A lobbyist should maintain appropriate confidentiality of client or employer information.

7.1. A lobbyist should not disclose confidential information without the client’s or employer’s informed consent.
7.2. A lobbyist should not use confidential client information against the interests of a client or employer or for any purpose not contemplated by the engagement or terms of employment.

Article VIII – Public Education

A lobbyist should seek to ensure better public understanding and appreciation of the nature, legitimacy and necessity of lobbying in our democratic governmental process. This includes the First Amendment right to “petition the government for redress of grievances.”

Article IX – Duty to Governmental Institutions

In addition to fulfilling duties and responsibilities to the client or employer, a lobbyist should exhibit proper respect for the governmental institutions before which the lobbyist represents and advocates clients’ interests.

9.1. A lobbyist should not act in any manner that will undermine public confidence and trust in the democratic governmental process.
9.2. A lobbyist should not act in a manner that shows disrespect for government institutions.