This report on the operation of the election funding and financial disclosure provisions of Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act) is prepared for the purposes of subsection 17(2) of the Act in relation to the 2001 federal election.
This report adopts a different approach to previous section 17 reports. Those reports identified issues arising from the operation of the legislation, and provided recommendations in respect of those issues. The revised approach is to more comprehensively report on the operation of Part XX and, in particular, the outcome of the funding and disclosure scheme over the election period.
While issues will continue to be raised as appropriate, detailed recommendations for the further development of the scheme, and amendment of the legislation, will be separately made to the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM), or in special reports under subsection 17(2B) of the Act. It is anticipated that this approach will enable more effective management and control of recommendations by the AEC and the JSCEM.
Recommendations originally proposed for this report have been included in AEC submissions made to the JSCEM during 2004.
In addition to reporting on the operation of the election funding and financial disclosure scheme, this report also reports on the operation of the party registration arrangements established under Part XI of the Act. This is because of the close linkages between the party registration scheme and the funding and disclosure scheme as they pertain to the 2001 election period.
The performance of the AEC in its administration of the funding and disclosure scheme against performance indicators and targets set down in Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements is separately reported to Parliament in AEC Annual Reports.