However, the quality of the annual returns and their associated audit certificates continued to be mixed. The VEC will continue its approach of providing all participants with comprehensive information and education about their duties to support compliance with Victoria’s funding and disclosure laws. The VEC will also continue to assess non-compliance and may initiate an investigation if appropriate.
During the 2019-20 reporting period the VEC:
- published 82 annual returns and 53 donation disclosures
- paid a total of $12,343,277.74 in political funding
- recovered $274,874.55 in over-payments of political funding from the previous period
- issued one compliance notice
- continued investigations into multiple matters, relating to allegations of failures to provide disclosure returns, providing false or misleading information, and failing to provide an annual return.
Public funding dispute
The Supreme Court’s decision in October 2020 to uphold a joint application from the State Directors of the National Party of Australia (Victoria) and the Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division) will inform the VEC’s future regulatory approach for public funding involving composite groups.