Third-party campaigner campaign account
Third-party campaigners are required to keep a campaign account for an election to make payments for electoral expenditure during a capped expenditure period and to deposit political donations received that are used to incur the electoral expenditure.
The campaign account is to be a separate account held in Australian dollars with a financial institution. The official agent of a third-party campaigner must be authorised to operate the account. There are no requirements under electoral funding laws as to the name of the account.
An official agent can appoint a person in writing to operate the campaign account. A record of the appointment should be kept by the agent. A person cannot be appointed by an official agent to operate a campaign account if the person has been convicted of an offence that would disqualify the person from being appointed as an official agent or the person is not fit and proper person as determined by the NSW Electoral Commission.
How the account must be used
The campaign account must be used by the official agent or an appointed person to:
- make payments for electoral expenditure incurred during a capped expenditure period
- deposit political donations used for the purpose of making payments for that electoral expenditure.
A political donation received by a third-party campaigner is not required to be paid into the campaign account if it is not used to make payments for electoral expenditure incurred during a capped expenditure period.
A political donation made to a third-party campaigner by a prohibited donor, or by a donor who is not lawfully entitled to make a donation, may be paid into an account kept solely for federal election campaign purposes. The donation is exempt from being an unlawful donation if paid into such an account.
The campaign account may be used for more than one election. 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 NSW Electoral Commission's compliance audits.
Any amount of a political donation made to the third-party campaigner that is in excess of the cap on donations for third-party campaigners must not be paid into the campaign account.