Funding glossary

The following definitions apply to Part 12 of the Electoral Act 2002, Victoria's funding and disclosure legislation.

Term

Definition

Administrative expenditure funding

Public money administered by the VEC to eligible registered political parties and independent elected members for administrative expenditure.

Administrative Expenditure Return

A return submitted by recipients of administrative expenditure funding at the end of a calendar year in respect to administrative expenditure for that year. For more information and the Registered Political Party and IEM forms, visit Funding

Agent

An agent is the person who manages and is legally responsible for a recipient's funding and disclosure obligations under Part 12 of the Electoral Act 2002. Find out more about agents 

Annual return

An annual return is a summary of money received and costs incurred in a financial year.

An annual return is different to a calendar return (see below).

Find out more about annual returns

Associated entity

Associated entities are organisations that are connected to one or more registered political parties. They fit at least one of the following:

  • they are controlled by one or more political parties
  • they operate wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of the political parties
  • they are a financial member of one or more political parties
  • they have voting rights in one or more political parties, or
  • another person has voting rights in one or more political parties on their behalf.

An associated entity does not include a nominated entity of a registered political party (see nominated entity below).

Audit certificate

An audit certificate accompanies a return to certify that the return has been audited in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards as specified in section 334(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Registered political parties may use this audit certificate template for registered company auditors. Other recipients may use this audit certificate template for independent auditors.

Candidate at an election

A person who has been selected by a political party to be a candidate in a State election or a person who has publicly announced an intention to be an independent candidate in a State election.

Consumer Price Index

A measure of the average change over time of the prices paid by a household for goods and services. The Consumer Price Index affects the annual indexation of amounts prescribed in the Electoral Act 2002. For more information, see Indexation.

Deputy registered officer

A person nominated by the Registered Officer of a registered political party to assist with funding and disclosure obligations under Part 12 of the Electoral Act 2002, and registered on VEC Disclosures. For more information, visit About agents.

Disclosure threshold

The disclosure threshold is the minimum value of a donation, or aggregated donations, requiring disclosure. The threshold amount is indexed each financial year, according to the Consumer Price Index. To view current threshold amounts, visit Indexation.

Donor

A person or organisation who makes a political donation to a recipient.

Elected member

A person who has been elected as a member of the Legislative Council or the Legislative Assembly of the Victorian Parliament.

Election period

The period between two State elections (usually four years). The next State election will be held in November 2022.

Election campaigning period

For a general State election, the election campaigning period starts on 1 October in the year of the election and ends at 6 pm on the day of the election.

For any other election, including by-elections, the election campaigning period starts on the day the writ is issued for that election and ends at 6 pm on the day of that election.

Electoral expenditure

Electoral expenditure is expenditure incurred within the election period on:

  • broadcasting an advertisement relating to the election
  • publishing an advertisement relating to the election in a journal
  • displaying an advertisement relating to the election at a theatre or other place of entertainment
  • producing a broadcast, published or displayed advertisement relating to the election
  • producing any material in relation to the election that is required to include the name and address of the author of the material or of the person authorising the material (in accordance with section 83 of the Electoral Act 2002)
  • producing and distributing electoral matter addressed to particular persons or organisations
  • fees or salaries paid to consultants or advertising agents for services or material relating to the election
  • carrying out an opinion poll, or other research, relating to the election.

Electoral matter

Matter which is intended or likely to affect voting in an election.

Material that promotes or opposes a candidate in an election, a current or past member of parliament, a current or previous state territory or Commonwealth government, a political party or an issue before electors in connection with an election may constitute electoral matter.

Endorsed candidate

A candidate that is endorsed by a registered political party.

Endorsed elected member

A member of the Legislative Council or the Legislative Assembly, who is also a member of a registered political party.

Financial controller

For an associated entity or third-party campaigner, the financial controller is either:

  • the secretary of the corporation (if it is a corporation)
  • the trustee (if it is a trustee of a trust and the trustee is a natural person)
    or
  • the person responsible for keeping the financial records of the associated entity or third-party campaigner (if it is neither a corporation nor a trustee of a trust who is a natural person).

Foreign donor

A person who makes a political donation who is not an Australian citizen or Australian resident or, an organisation that does not have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

General cap

The maximum dollar value of political donations allowed to be given or received from one donor to one recipient in an election period. For registered political parties, political donations given to candidates, elected members and groups endorsed by the registered political party, and to the nominated entity of the registered political party, also count towards the general cap of the registered political party.

Gift

Any disposition of property otherwise than by will made by a person to another person without consideration in money or money's worth or with inadequate consideration, including:

(a) the provision of service

(b) the payment of an amount in respect of a guarantee

(c) the making of a payment or contribution at a fundraising function

(d) the disposition of property from a registered political party, a branch of a registered political party or an associated entity.

Group of Legislative Council (Upper House) candidates

Two or more candidates whose names are grouped on a ballot paper.

Independent auditor

An auditor is required to be independent from the entity it audits. For more information see Auditor independence and audit quality (Australian Securities and Investments Commission website).

Independent elected member An independent elected member is a member of parliament of Victoria in the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council that is not a member of any political party 

Nominated entity of a registered political party

A nominated entity is an incorporated entity that has been entered on the Register of Nominated Entities as the nominated entity of a registered political party (RPP). It must be an incorporated entity, controlled by the RPP and operating for the sole benefit of that RPP. Gifts between a nominated entity and its registered political party are not considered political donations.

A registered political party can only have one nominated entity.

See the Register of nominated entities.

Non-political donation

A non-political donation is a 'receipt for another purpose' (see section 217I(1) of the Electoral Act 2002).

This means it is income that is:

  • not a donation (aka 'gift' - see section 206(1) of the Electoral Act 2002 for definition)
  • not politically motivated
  • cannot be spent on political matters.

An example of a non-political donation is administrative expenditure funding from the VEC. Administrative expenditure funding is a non-political donation as it is funding specified under the Act for administrative purposes only. The legislation explicitly prohibits the use of administrative expenditure funding for political expenditure or electoral expenditure (see section 207GB(2)(e) of the Electoral Act 2002). 

Penalty unit

A penalty unit sets the amount of money a person is fined if an offence is committed. The penalty unit amount is indexed annually. The current penalty unit rate is available on the Department of Treasury and Finances (DTF) website

Policy development funding

Public money administered by the VEC to eligible registered political parties for the purpose of policy development. For more information, see Funding registered political parties.

Policy development funding statement

A statement that specifies that the amount spent or incurred in the calendar year that the registered political party received policy development funding is less or more than their policy development entitlement.

For more information on policy development funding statement, see Funding registered political parties.

Political donation

See What is a political donation?

Political expenditure

Political expenditure is any spending used for the dominant purpose of directing how a person should vote at an election by promoting or opposing:

  • a candidate in a State election
  • an elected member of the Victorian Parliament
  • a registered political party. 

For associated entities and third-party campaigners, political expenditure occurs:

during the election campaigning period

outside the election campaign when information refers to a candidate or registered political party and how a person should vote.

Public funding

Public money administered by the VEC to eligible registered political parties and independent candidates. Public funding is based on the number of first preference votes a candidate receives in an election.

Recipient (individual or organisational)

Any of the following persons or organisations:

  • a political party that is registered in Victoria
  • a candidate at a Victorian State election
  • a group of Legislative Council (Upper House) candidates at a Victorian State election
  • an elected member of the Victorian State Parliament
  • an associated entity operating in Victoria
  • a nominated entity of a political party registered in Victoria
  • a third-party campaigner operating in Victoria.

Find more information for recipients.

Registered company auditor

A registered company auditor as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (legislation.gov.au) 

Registered Officer

The person shown on the Register of Political Parties as the registered officer of the political party.

Registered political party

A political party registered with the VEC in accordance with Part 4 of the Electoral Act 2002. See more about registering a political party.

Small contribution

A political donation that is equal to or less than the value of the small contribution amount.

State campaign account

A State campaign account is the account (or accounts) that a recipient must hold for the purpose of State elections. The State campaign account(s) must be with an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) as per the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority ADI register.

For more information, see State campaign accounts.

Statement of expenditure

A statement of expenditure specifies that the amount spent or incurred in a given period by the recipient is less or more than their public funding entitlement. The statement must be provided to the VEC within 20 weeks after the election day by the Registered Officer of an RPP or the Registered Agent of a candidate for the recipient to be entitled to public funding.

For more information on statements of expenditure, see Funding registered political parties or Funding for independent candidates.

Third-party campaigner

A third-party campaigner is a person or an organisation that receives political donations or spends more than the general donation cap per financial year for the purpose of helping promote or oppose a candidate, elected member or registered political party at an election (known as political expenditure).

A third-party campaigner is not:

  • a registered political party
  • a candidate at an election
  • a group
  • an elected member
  • an associated entity
    or
  • a nominated entity of a registered political party.