The Washington Post published an article today discussing the latest lobbying restrictions by the Obama Administration and their effect on federal agency advisory boards and commissions. The article states:
The initiative is aimed at a system of advisory committees so vast that federal officials don’t have exact numbers for its size; the most recent estimates tally nearly 1,000 panels with total membership exceeding 60,000 people.
Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies.
Many of the lobbyists affected by this policy have voiced their concerns with the White House, an unsympathetic audience. This will be an issue worth monitoring over the next few months to see whether the policy produces the intended effect of curbing lobbyists influence, or whether it simply removed qualified, competent people from these boards and commissions at a time when their services are needed to address the country’s issues. The Washington Post article can be found here.