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Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme

The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme commenced on 10 December 2018. Its purpose is to provide the public and government decision-makers with visibility of the nature, level and extent of foreign influence on Australia's government and political process.

The scheme introduces registration obligations for persons and entities who have arrangements with, and undertake certain activities on behalf of, foreign principals. Whether a person or entity is required to register will depend on who the foreign principal is, the nature of the activities undertaken, the purpose for which the activities are undertaken, and in some cases, whether the person has held a senior public position in Australia.

A range of guidance materials to assist potential registrants to understand their obligations under the scheme is available on the Resources page.

To register, please go to the Registration portal.

Scheme summary

When the scheme commences, registrants will be required to disclose information about the nature of their relationship with the foreign principal, and the activities they are undertaking on behalf of the foreign principal.
A foreign principal includes:

  • a foreign government
  • a foreign political organisation
  • a foreign government related entity
  • a foreign government related individual.

Categories of registrable activities include:

  • parliamentary lobbying on behalf of a foreign government
  • parliamentary lobbying on behalf of other kinds of foreign principals for the purpose of political or governmental influence
  • general political lobbying for the purpose of political or governmental influence
  • communications activities for the purpose of political or government influence
  • disbursement activities for the purpose of political or governmental influence
  • employment or activities of former Cabinet ministers
  • employment or activities of recent designated position holders in the 15 year period immediately following their public role.

The scheme also:

  • establishes exemptions, including for diplomatic and consular activities, activities related to the provision of legal advice or representation, religious activities, activities of registered charities, activities related to the arts, and activities for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid
  • establishes transparency notices, which may be issued if the Secretary is satisfied that a person is a foreign government related entity, or a foreign government related individual
  • contains criminal offences ranging from failing to comply with obligations under the scheme, through to failing to register in circumstances where a person is required to do so. ​​​​​​​​​​
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