Obligations of an agent

This information is about an agent's obligations. If this is not what you are looking for, visit our Funding and disclosure for State elections page to find information that is relevant to you.

For more information, refer to Part 13A of the Electoral Act 1985 External link.

Agents

An agent ensures that whoever they represent fulfils their obligations under Part 13A of the Electoral Act 1985. An agent may be appointed, or a person may be deemed to be an agent under Part 13A.

For more information, visit our Appointing an agent page.

Obligations of all agents

An agent must do the following:

  • Ensure that a State campaign account exists (section 130K of the Electoral Act 1985).
  • Ensure that all gifts and donations are paid into the State campaign account and that all political expenditure is paid from that account (sections 130L and 130N).
  • Ensure that they do not receive a gift of $200 or more on behalf of their client without knowing the name and address of the person who gave it (section 130ZJ).
  • Ensure that they do not receive a loan of $1,000 or more, except from a financial institution, on behalf of their client unless the client has complied with section 130ZK.
  • At prescribed times, lodge campaign donation returns for their clients.
  • On behalf of their client, lodge all returns required under Division 8 of Part 13A.
  • Ensure that an audit certificate accompanies each claim or return lodged by their client, or apply for a waiver from the Electoral Commissioner (section 130ZV).
  • Comply with notices to produce information or give evidence issued under section 130ZZB.

In addition, if an agent knows that their client has received a gift or loan that must be reported under Part 13A, the agent must inform the donor or loan provider of their obligation to report the gift or loan (sections 130ZG(7) and 130ZH(8)).

An agent may lodge a certificate under section 130Y to enable their client to gain access to public funding by agreeing to be subject to the limitations on political expenditure outlined in Division 6 of Part 13A. If an agent or their client has lodged a 130Y certificate, the agent must ensure that their client does not incur political expenditure in excess of the applicable expenditure cap during the capped expenditure period.

Additional obligations for registered political party agents

An agent of a registered political party, in addition to the obligations noted above, must do the following:

  • Report gifts of more than $25,000 within seven days, and inform the person who gave the gift of their responsibility to also report the gift (section 130ZI).
  • Ensure that the special assistance funding payment is not deposited into the State campaign account or used for political expenditure (section 130W).
  • Ensure that the party does not incur political expenditure that relates to the election of a candidate in an electoral district such that the applicable expenditure cap for the candidate is exceeded (section 130ZB(1)).
  • Ensure that an endorsed candidate's political expenditure only relates to the election of that candidate in the relevant electoral district (section 130ZB(2), see also our Reporting political expenditure (candidates and parties) page).

An agent of a registered political party may:

  • negotiate an agreement to share public funding payments between their party and another registered political party when the payment relates to a group (section 130R(4)),
  • lodge a claim for special assistance funding on behalf of a qualifying registered political party (section 130U).

If there is an agreement for the allocation of the capped political expenditure between the party and its candidates, an agent must provide written notice of that agreement to the Electoral Commissioner within three days of the agreement (section 130Z(3)).

Penalties for not fulfilling obligations

Agents who do not fulfil their obligations may be prosecuted under Part 13A of the Electoral Act 1985.

Fines for offences against Part 13A range from $1,500 to $10,000. A conviction for an offence under the Electoral Act 1985 will also render a person ineligible to be an agent.

Disclaimer

Refer to our Disclaimer page.