The head of lobbying regulation has said that up to today the new Register of Lobbying has had 1,338 registrants and received 4,548 returns.

Speaking at the launch of the Standards in Public Office (SIPO) Commission's first annual report under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, Sherry Perreault said she was pleased with the positive early results so far.

The returns cover lobbying activities that took place from 1 September last year.

SIPO has noted, however, some areas where confusion over the Act's requirements persist, including determining whether a communication counts as lobbying and ensuring that returns submitted are meaningful and contain sufficient detail to meet the obligations of the Act.

There is also confusion over the obligation for registrants to submit a return for every relevant period, including a 'nil return' for periods during which they did not lobby.

Ms Perreault said that an incremental approach has been taken to the commencement of the Act, with most of the Act's provisions in effect from last September.

She said "knowledge is key to compliance" with the new regulations and said that the outreach and education programmes will continue to inform people about the new lobbying legislation and "encourage greater understanding on the obligation among registrants and potential registrants.