Submissions

From time to time, the Electoral Commissioner may make submissions about electoral related matters to the NSW Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. The Electoral Commissioner keeps the three member NSW Electoral Commission advised about submissions.

Effective election finance regulation

The greatest challenge to successfully implementing the Panel of Expert's recommendations is the need for legislative change. This must be achieved by way of a comprehensive review of the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981 (the EFED Act). Also, some of the recommendations would require amendment to the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 (the PEE Act). To do this most effectively, the Electoral Commissioner's view is that the two Acts should be consolidated into one piece of electoral legislation. The NSW Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters recommended this in May 2013 .

There are a number of important themes and areas for reform that are vital in building effective election campaign finance regulation in NSW.

These are:

  • A comprehensive legislative review
  • An online election funding, expenditure and disclosure management system and improved information to stakeholders
  • The introduction of associated entities
  • The introduction of an internal governance framework for political parties
  • Abolition of party agents and official agents
  • Increased enforcement options for the Commission.

Transcript of the then Electoral Commissioner about the need for effective legislation (PDF 599KB).

Current Inquiries

Panel of Experts - Political Donations

In May 2014, the NSW Government appointed an independent Panel of Experts to consider and report on options for the reform of election funding laws. The Panel was established in response to public concerns about the influence of political donations and followed revelations at hearings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) about political donations being accepted from prohibited donors, donations in breach of the applicable caps and schemes to hide illegal donations.

See the submission by the Electoral Commissioner (PDF 3.0 MB) to the Panel of Experts.

There were many other submissions from interested stakeholders. When the final report of the Panel of Experts was provided to the Premier on 24 December 2014, it contained 50 recommendations.

These recommendations addressed issues such as restrictions on political donations and expenditure, public funding, party governance, regulation of third-party campaigners, disclosure requirements and enforcement. The Government indicated in principle support of all but one of the 50 recommendations, and that the Government would consult with the Commission.

Since early 2015, the Funding, Disclosure and Compliance Branch has been implementing a number of the recommendations.