Elected Member, Candidate and Group Accounts

General requirements

An elected member, candidate or group of candidates is required to keep a Campaign Account for an election period if:

  • $1,000 or more in political donations is accepted in the election period; or
  • $1,000 or more in electoral expenditure is incurred in the election period.

The election period for an election commences 30 days after the previous general election and ends 30 days after the current election.

The Campaign Account is to be a separate account with a bank, building society or credit union. The Official Agent is to be authorised by the financial institution to operate the account. There are no requirements as to the name of the account.

The elected member, candidate or group is not permitted to operate the account however they may be a signatory on the account.

A single Campaign Account may be kept for more than one elected member, candidate or group with the same Official Agent if the funds and transactions relating to each person or group are accounted for separately.

An Official Agent may appoint a person in writing to operate the Campaign Account. A person who has been convicted of an offence that would disqualify the person from being appointed as an Official Agent cannot be appointed by an Official Agent to operate a Campaign Account.

Where political donations are used to make payments for electoral expenditure:

  • political donations are to be paid by the Official Agent into the Campaign Account; and
  • electoral expenditure is to be paid by the Official Agent from the Campaign Account.

All payments for electoral expenditure must be paid from the Campaign Account except minor payments (being payments for items of electoral expenditure of $50 or less) not exceeding a total of $1,000 in the election period. Such payments must, however, be recorded in the petty cash book maintained in respect to the candidate, group or elected member.

The following may be paid into a Campaign Account:

  • political donations made to the elected member, candidate or group; and
  • money paid into the account by the elected member, candidate or group member.

Payments out of a Campaign Account may only be made for the purpose of:

  • electoral expenditure of the elected member, candidate or group;
  • electoral expenditure of a party of which the elected member, candidate or group's members are a member, with approval;
  • reimbursing the elected member, candidate or group for money they paid into the account;
  • making a political donation to an elected member, candidate or group who are members of the same party; and
  • expenditure for parliamentary or council duties or in connection with community activities.

After the elected member, candidate or group ceases to be an elected member, candidate or group and the account is no longer required the remaining amount in the account is to be paid:

  • to the party of which the person was a member when they last became an elected member or contested an election; or
  • in the case of a group – to the campaign accounts of the members of the group, divided equally; or
  • if the above do not apply, to a charity nominated by the person or by the NSWEC.

If a candidate is to receive a payment from the NSWEC from the Election Campaigns Fund the account is to remain open so the payment can be made into the account.

When the account is no longer required the account may be closed. Bank statements of the account must be kept for the purpose of the NSWEC's compliance audits and for the purpose of a registered company auditor undertaking a review of the campaign account.