All elected members to NSW Parliament have obligations under the Election Funding and Disclosures Act 1981 (the Act).
The Funding and Disclosure Guide - Members of Parliament and their Agents is now available. The guide provides elected members and their official agents information about their obligations under the Act and practical information about:
A brief summary of each section is provided below. For more explanation click on the links provided in the left hand column or refer to the Funding and Disclosure Guide - Members of Parliament and their Agents.
An official agent is responsible for managing political donations and electoral expenditure, keeping proper records and lodging a disclosure of political donations and electoral expenditure.
Elected members to NSW Parliament endorsed by registered political parties are not able to appoint an official agent. Their official agent is the party agent of their party.
Independent members of parliament are designated by the EFA to be their own official agents and must comply with the requirements of the Act and the Regulation.
However, as an independent member of parliament, you can choose to nominate to the EFA an official agent to act on your behalf with respect to funding and disclosure matters. If the nominated official agent meets the eligibility requirements, the EFA will designate this person as your official agent
If, however, you accept donations of $1,000 or more for a future election you must appoint an official agent (refer to Funding and Disclosure Guide - Candidates, Groups and Official Agents at State Elections for further information).
Note: in this section Official Agents and Party Agents will be referred to as 'agents'.
A political donation is a gift (monetary or non-monetary) made to or for the benefit of an elected member. Political donations include (but are not limited to):
Political donations of $1,000 or more are known as reportable political donations. Reportable political donations include multiple donations made by one donor to the same elected member in one financial year that total $1,000 or more.
Political donations of less than $1,000 are known as small political donations.
Some political donations are unlawful. Unlawful political donations include:
indirect campaign contributions where the value of the gift or service provided by the same donor exceeds $1,000 in the same financial year;
A loan is an advance of money, the provision of credit or any other transaction that in substance affects a loan of money.
A reportable loan is a loan or total in loans of $1,000 or more from one source in the same disclosure period (ie a six-month period ending 30 June and 31 December).
A non-reportable loan is:
Unpaid accounts and invoices are also considered reportable loans where there has been an agreement with the supplier of a product or service to extend their standard payment period and/or payment terms.
Electoral expenditure is any expenditure for or in connection with promoting or opposing, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate or a group of candidates or for the purpose of influencing, directly or indirectly, the voting at an election.
Elected members or their agents (as applicable) must keep proper records of electoral expenditure including receipts or invoices for expenditure items and samples of all advertising and printed material.
When a political donation is received, the elected member or their agent (as applicable) must record the details of the donation.
When a person or entity makes a reportable political donation to or for the benefit of an elected member, the elected member or their agent is required to issue a receipt/acknowledgement slip to the donor. Each receipt/acknowledgement slip must contain a statement to advise the donor of their obligation to disclose political donations to the Election Funding Authority.
Elected members and their agents must also keep records of small political donations (monetary and non-monetary) in order to disclose the total value of these donations received and the total number of people who made these donations during the disclosure period.
Elected members endorsed by political parties are not required to open a separate campaign account. The party agent is responsible for operating the party’s campaign account.
Independent members of parliament must have a campaign account before accepting $1,000 or more in political donations or intending to spend $1,000 or more in electoral expenditure in an election period.
The campaign account must not be a personal account of an elected member.
A campaign account can only be used for the following purposes:
Elected members or their agents (as applicable), are required to keep proper records to ensure the accurate and complete disclosure of political donations and electoral expenditure.
Records of elected members and their agents may be subject to a compliance audit by the Authority.
An elected member or their agent (as applicable) is required to lodge a disclosure of the political donations received and electoral expenditure incurred following each 12 month period ending 30 June for as long as they remain an elected member.
Disclosures must be made using Disclosure of Political Donations and Electoral Expenditure for a Member of Parliament. Used Receipt and Acknowledgement books as well as invoices and receipts supporting advertising and printing expenditure must be submitted with the disclosure.
If an elected member has not received any political donations nor incurred any electoral expenditure a ‘nil’ disclosure must be lodged.
Elected members must have their disclosure audited by a registered company auditor unless the Authority has approved an exemption.
Public Funding is available to those contesting a State general election or by-election.
Funding is a reimbursement of election campaign expenditure and is paid to eligible candidates and groups after the election.
In order to receive public funding the official agent or party agent (as applicable) must lodge a Claim for Payment for a Parliamentary Election. The claim must be accompanied by a relevant Disclosure of Political Donations and Electoral Expenditure. All claims for payment must be audited by a registered company auditor before they are lodged with the Election Funding Authority.