Not all foreign engagement activities or arrangements will require registration under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (FITS).
While all foreign engagement activity must be declared and documented either as a part of the foreign engagement compliance review process and/or as a part of regular performance development reviews with your line manager, the criteria that define a “foreign principal” are quite specific.
If you are dealing with a foreign entity in your work, you will need to consider whether they are, or may be, a “foreign principal”.
Examples of a foreign principal include:
- A visiting academic who is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident is employed by a government funded university which requires all staff to be members of a specified foreign political organisation.
- A research institute located overseas has various private sources of funding but its constitution gives a foreign government the legal right to nominate the majority of appointees to the governing board.
- The major shareholder in an innovative international health promotion company is a foreign government.
- An influential overseas think tank is known to be affiliated with a foreign political party.
For the purposes of the FITS Act, foreign principals are defined as one of the four following categories: