banner images of various newspaper articles

Campaign donation return transparency

It was pleasing to note that after a program of reminders and compliance checks on campaign donation returns during recent by-elections, all candidates have submitted their returns.

The Inspectorate has now mostly finalised prosecutions for candidates who failed to submit campaign donation returns in the 2016 general elections.

As a result of prosecutions so far, candidates have been ordered to pay fines totalling more than $8,000 and more than $14,000 in legal costs.

As reported in the Inspectorate's autumn newsletter, a comprehensive compliance program started after the 2016 general elections to ensure all candidates had submitted campaign donation returns according to section 62 of the Act.

All candidates who have been charged have also been ordered to comply with their obligations to submit their returns.

Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf said, "A key factor in the integrity of local government is ensuring the transparency of who has financially supported candidates and councillors. While we don't take prosecution action lightly, it is important that we pursue these matters and allow the courts to determine the seriousness of the offence."