Contacts with Federal Officials Introduction    

Introduction/Background

Texas State law prohibits an employee of an institution of higher education from using state appropriated money to attempt to influence the passage or defeat of a legislative measure. This statute does, however, permit the use of state resources to provide information responsive to a request from state and federal appointed and elected officials and their staff. Any interaction with federal officials should be reported in accordance with the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 ("HLOGA"). 

HLOGA has changed how university personnel must report interaction with "covered" officials. All interactions with Congressional, Executive Branch and agency officials, including meetings held in Washington, D.C., on campus, or at any other location will need to be tracked and duly reported on a quarterly basis.  Additionally, over the past two years the executive branch has issued additional guidance that clarifies what events and actiivities trigger these reporting requirements.  The UT System Office of Federal Relations (OFR) is responsible for tracking, certifying, and reporting all covered interactions on behalf of The University of Texas at El Paso.  Guidance on what activities must be reported can be found here.

Several activities are exempted from the definitions of lobbying activities, including Congressional testimony, communications made through any medium of mass communication, scheduling appointments, and information provided as part of a rulemaking process or at the request of a legislative or executive branch official.  Exempt activity does not have to be reported on the Reporting Form.

If you or any of your staff takes part in interactions with Federal officials, you must fill out the Reporting Form and submit to mavitia@utep.edu in the Office of Institutional Compliance. If you are uncertain whether a particular interaction with a Federal official should be reported, you are encouraged to submit the form for review. 

REPORTING FORM                                                                POLICY GUIDELINES