Candidate and Group Disclosures

General Requirements

The official agent of a candidate (including a candidate who is a member of a group) or a group of candidates is required to lodge a declaration of disclosures with the NSWEC on behalf of the candidate or group on an annual basis.

The disclosure requirement applies to a candidate or group until such time as there is a financial year where the candidate or group is no longer a candidate or group. For the purpose of disclosure a person remains a candidate, and individuals remain a group, until 30 days after the election.

The declaration of disclosures is to be certified by a registered company auditor unless exempt (See Audit Requirements).

Each annual disclosure is to cover the period 1 July to 30 June.

The NSWEC produces a disclosure form for candidates and groups to use each year (See Forms). The disclosure form contains a declaration the official agent must sign to state all disclosures required to be made have been made.

Candidates and group are required to disclose:

  • political donations made by the candidate or group to another candidate or group, or to a party (including party membership fees), elected member or third-party campaigner;
  • political donations received by the candidate or group from another candidate or group, or from a party, elected member, third-party campaigner or political donor, and
  • electoral expenditure incurred by the candidate or group.

See How to Disclose.

Complete and accurate records of political donations and electoral expenditure must be maintained by the official agent of the candidate or group to ensure full disclosure (See Record Keeping).

Separate disclosures by candidates, groups and elected members

If, during a financial year, a candidate is also an elected member separate disclosures are required to be lodged by the official agents of the candidate and elected member. For example,

Veronica is a local government candidate at an upcoming local government election and is also an elected member of a local council. Veronica has two official agents: one in her capacity as a candidate and one in her capacity as an elected member. Therefore each official agent must make a separate disclosure for Veronica. The political donations and electoral expenditure do not need to be duplicated on each disclosure. The candidate disclosure is to include those donations and expenditures that relate to the period when Veronica is a candidate.

If a candidate is a member of a group a separate disclosure must be made for each candidate who is a member of the group and the group as an entity. For example,

Veronica is a member of group. The group has appointed an official agent and Veronica has appointed an official agent as a candidate. The official agent for the group is required to lodge a disclosure on behalf of the group. The group disclosure is to include donations made and received by the group and expenditure incurred by the group. Veronica's official agent is required to lodge a separate disclosure to include any donations made and received and expenditure incurred by Veronica in her capacity as a candidate.

Documents to accompany disclosures

The following documents must be provided with the annual disclosure of political donations and electoral expenditure:

  • a copy of each receipt or acknowledgement issued to those who made a reportable political donation to the candidate or group;
  • a copy of the account or receipt for each item of electoral communication expenditure;
  • a copy of the advertising or printed electoral material to which the electoral communication expenditure relates.

As part of a compliance audit of the candidate or group the NSWEC may require the official agent to provide a copy of the statements of the campaign account of the candidate or group or any other information reasonably required to undertake the compliance audit.