The purpose of the section 17 funding and disclosure reports is to inform the Minister, and the Parliament, about the operation of the election funding and financial disclosure schemes.
The AEC has provided a sub-section 17(2) report on the operation of the funding and disclosure provisions of the Act for each election since the requirement was introduced in 1984.
The Act also provides for the AEC to make a sub-section 17(2B) report on the operation of the funding and disclosure provisions generally. The AEC has, to date, not provided such a report, preferring to provide submissions direct to the JSCEM as required.
The JSCEM initiated inquiries into the funding and disclosure schemes, and into the integrity of the electoral roll, in late 2000. The funding and disclosure inquiry was deferred to enable the JSCEM to concentrate on the inquiry into the integrity of the electoral roll and lapsed on the calling of the 2001 election.
Copies of the AEC submissions to the 2001 funding and disclosure inquiry are available on the AEC and Parliament websites. The underlying theme of the submissions was the need to comprehensively review the operation of the funding and disclosure schemes to ensure that they are meeting contemporary needs and objectives.