During 2019–20, the VEC continued to administer and enforce the funding and donation disclosure laws introduced to the Electoral Act 2002 in 2018. The laws impose bans or caps on some political donations, increase transparency through disclosure and real-time reconciliation of donations, and provide access to public funding streams for Victoria’s Parliamentary elections.
In December 2019, the VEC published annual returns for the 2018–19 reporting period. These were required to be lodged by 21 October 2019 and included:
- 12 annual returns from registered political parties
- 47 annual returns from associated entities
- two annual returns from third party campaigners
- two annual returns from nominated entities
- one annual return from an independent candidate, group or elected member.
For the 2019–20 period, the donation disclosure threshold was $1,020. The VEC received 56 donation disclosures through VEC Disclosures during 2019–20. Only donations over the 2019–20 disclosure threshold were required to be disclosed and, as at 30 June 2020, there were:
- 39 reconciled donations for 2019–20, amounting to $63,232.53
- 17 unreconciled donations for 2019–20, amounting to $14,974.63.
In the same period, the VEC paid $12,274,592.56 to eligible registered political parties, independent elected members and candidates. This included:
- $5,918,412.96 in public funding
- $6,311,960 in administrative expenditure funding
- $44,219.60 for policy development funding.
In the reporting period, the VEC:
- issued 38 formal warnings for non-compliance (these related to the timeliness and quality of annual returns or audit certification)
- recovered $175,301.69 in administrative expenditure funding over-payments for the previous financial year
- received no reports of banned donations.
No charges were filed during this time.