47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?




Electoral Act 1997 (as amended by the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012 Section 41) Section 84.
— (1) The appropriate officer of a political party shall keep, or cause to be kept in such form, including electronic form, as may be set out in guidelines, all proper and usual books of accounts of the political party concerned. (2) Books of accounts kept under subsection (1) shall— (a) disclose at any time, with reasonable accuracy, the financial position of the political party at that time, and (b) enable the appropriate officer to ensure that the annual statement of accounts complies with the guidelines. (3) Books of accounts kept under subsection (1) shall be preserved by the appropriate officer for a period of not less than 6 years from the end of the financial year to which they relate. (4) Where a political party ceases to be registered under section 25 of the Act of 1992 during the period of 6 years referred to in subsection (3), the obligation to ensure that books of accounts are preserved under that subsection shall continue to be discharged by the last appropriate officer of the political party unless the Commission consents in writing to the records being destroyed, or disposed of in some other manner. Annual statement of accounts. Section 85.— (1) The appropriate officer shall prepare a statement of accounts (in this Part referred to as the ‘annual statement of accounts’) in respect of the political party concerned in respect of each financial year. (2) The annual statement of accounts shall— (a) comply with such requirements as to its form and contents as may be provided for in guidelines, and (b) be approved by the executive committee or similar body elected by the party. Annual audit of accounts. 86.— (1) The accounts of a political party in respect of a financial year shall be audited by a public auditor. (2) The first accounts required to be audited under subsection (1) shall be in respect of the first financial year which commences after guidelines are published. (3) An audit under this section shall be carried out by the end of the period of 6 months from the end of the financial year to which the relevant accounts relate. (4) If it appears to the Commission that any accounts required to be audited under subsection (1) have not been duly audited within the period specified in subsection (3), the Commission may appoint a public auditor to audit the accounts. (5) The expenses incurred in the carrying out of an audit by a person appointed under subsection (4), including the auditor’s remuneration, may be recovered by the Commission as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction from the political party concerned. (6) In this section ‘public auditor’ means a public auditor for the purposes of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1893 to 1978 and the Friendly Societies Acts 1896 to 1977.


Parties must present annual audited accounts and a statement that public funding was spent in conformity with regulations.  See Standards in Public Office Commission. 2017. Annual Statements of Accounts Guidelines for Political Parties.

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