Jiles: Progressive has "consistently and correctly" followed lobbyist law

Mark Jiles, the president of The Progressive Group, says his firm "has consistently and correctly followed the requirements" of the Lobbyists Registration Act. The statement, which was issued Friday, comes after Public Eye obtained documents from the State of Washington in which Progressive claims to have helped win major government contracts and benefits on behalf of powerful foreign and business interests.

Mr. Jiles and Progressive chairman Patrick Kinsella never registered as lobbyists for many of those interests. And the New Democrats are asking the provincial registrar to investigate if they should have.

But, in his statement, Mr. Jiles says Progressive registers "each and every" time it communicates with public office holders on behalf of its clients.

Moreover, "in the case of services provided to the State of Washington, The Progressive Group was primarily engaged to support Washington State business and regional development opportunities associated around the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games."

So it didn't register because "none of the services provided to this client constituted lobbying as defined by the legislation."

Under the Lobbyists Registration Act, consultant lobbyists are required to sign-up if they, for pay, communicate with a public office holder in an attempt to influence government - although there are some exceptions to that rule. But consultants must always register if they, for pay, arrange a meeting with an office holder and another "person."

The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned statement.

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Statement

Vancouver, June 6, 2008 ­ Understanding and navigating the public policy environment is often critical for companies seeking to grow their business activities in BC.  At The Progressive Group, we are proud to provide our clients with strategic counsel and advice to help them meet their goals.

From time to time, in performing these services for clients, our firm carries out assignments that require communication with public office holders. In each and every one of these cases, The Progressive Group registers, as required, under the Lobbyists Registration Act.

In the case of services provided to the State of Washington, The Progressive Group was primarily engaged to support Washington State business and regional development opportunities associated around the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

The Progressive Group did not register under the Lobbyists Registration Act as none of the services provided to this client constituted lobbying as defined by the legislation.  The Progressive Group is confident it has consistently and correctly followed the requirements of the Act. 

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