Lobbyists (industry associations) are the interface between government and business. They work for the best interests of the industry and try to persuade governments to support them on issues.
Industry associations often provide information and data to the public. To find the relevant association(s) for your industry, search google for the industry + country + association. A few examples:
- Retail Council of Canada
- Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)
- Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) (U.S)
Many non-governmental organizations are critics of industry. They act as a watchdog for the public and lobby governments to be diligent in overseeing activities of an industry. To find relevant NGOs, search google by keyword(s) + protection or organization. A few examples:
- Consumer Federation of America (CFA)
- Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN)
Think tanks are independent, nonpartisian, public policy research institutes that are often non-profit such as the C.D.Howe Institute, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institute, etc. They do not have an agenda as many NGOs have, but conduct research and analysis on current issues and topics. Hillwatch provides a listing of key Canadian and international think tanks and Harvard Kennedy School provides a searchable database of over 600 listings.
While the Government proposes budgetary policy (Dept. of Finance), the budget must be approved by Parliament. In order to inform Parliamentarians and Canadians, Treasury Board issues the Estimates family of documents. Part III of the Estimates: Departmental Expenditure Plans consists of two documents: Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs). RPPs describe departmental priorities and programs along with their expected outcomes and the resource requirements. DPRs set out the results achieved. Also helpful for alerting business to intentions are the Government-Wide Forward Regulatory Plans
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - Budget appendix contains financial information on individual programs and appropriation accounts
Government Accountability Office (GAO) - role is to improve the performance and accountability of the federal government