Administrative expenditure funding for political parties

Administrative expenditure funding is public money that we pay to political parties with elected members. Registered political parties (RPPs) can use this funding to pay for administrative expenses. This includes the cost of meeting your funding and disclosure obligations.

Administrative expenditure funding must not be paid into your state campaign account. It must not be used for political expenditure or electoral expenditure

We pay this funding quarterly in advance. For example, the January-March quarter (Q3) payment will be made by the end of December (Q2).

During a state election we make advance payments from the beginning of the quarter through to the day of the election. For example, for the 2022 State election we will make payments from 1 October (Q3) up until 26 November 2022. 

In the January after a state election we will:

  • pay you for the first quarter of that calendar year (January to March, Q3)

    and

  • pay the outstanding balance from the day after the election until the end of previous quarter. For this year this will be the period from 27 November to 31 December 2022.

Eligibility

Parties are eligible for administrative expenditure funding based how many members you have in the Victorian Parliament. We will only provide funding for total of 45 members.

If you do not have any members in the Legislative Assembly (lower house) or Legislative Council (upper house) then you are not eligible for administrative expenditure funding.

If you are eligible your registered officer must apply to disclosures@vec.vic.gov.au. We will then give you an application form.

The form will ask you for:

  • acknowledgement that any unused administrative expenditure funding must be repaid to us
  • acknowledgement that administrative expenditure funding:
  • cannot be paid into any state campaign account

  • cannot be used for political or electoral expenditure (these are costs related to election campaigns)
  • cannot be used for costs that are covered by parliamentary allowance
  • can only be used to elect members to the Parliament of Victoria.

Applications for funding must be made before 1 July in any state election year. Applications for 2022 State election administrative expenditure funding must be submitted before 1 July 2022.

Your application must include a statement that all members listed on the application intend to nominate at the next State election.

You must also submit an administrative expenditure funding return each year to remain eligible. This must be submitted at the end of every calendar year you receive this funding. Returns for 2021 must be submitted to us by 22 April 2022 (16 weeks from 31 Dec). These returns are submitted by email to disclosures@vec.vic.gov.au.

Read more about annual returns.

Funding amounts

Administrative expenditure funding is tiered and calculated on a daily, pro-rata basis.

For parties with elected members, the funding entitlement starts on the day that you endorse this member. This can be the day they are elected into Parliament, or the day they join your party if they are already a member. 

Funding amounts are indexed annually in line with the consumer price index (CPI).

View the current funding amounts 

Funding applications

The due date for funding applications is different for election years and election periods.

  • New election period: as soon as possible after the start of an election period, and no later than 31 December. The next election period due date is 31 December 2022.
  • Election year: by 31 July in the year of a State election. The due date for the 2022 State election is 31 July 2022.
  • When members join or leave your party: within 28 days of the change in member numbers.

You can only apply for funding for elected members that intend to nominate at the next state election. If you receive funding for an elected member who does not nominate you must repay that funding back to us.

If you do not submit your application by the relevant due date you will not receive any funding. We will not make any payments until the request is correctly made to us. Your entitlement to receive funding will not be affected.

Returns

If you receive administrative expenditure funding during a calendar year (1 Jan-31 Dec) you must submit an annual return to us for that year.

Your registered officer must submit the administrative expenditure return in writing to us at disclosures@vec.vic.gov.au. This must be submitted by 22 April each year (16 weeks from 31 Dec). Returns for 2021 were due on 22 April 2022.

Your return must specify how much the party spent on administrative costs for that year. It must specify if this is equal, less or more than the funding entitlement it received during the year. If you spent less than the amount of funding you received from us we may request that you repay the difference. 

Download the administrative expenditure form.

Your return must include:

  • a declaration from the registered officer that the return is true and correct
  • a certificate of audit from a registered company auditor.

The audit certificate must state that the auditor:

a) was given full and free access at all reasonable times to all accounts, records, documents and papers relating directly or indirectly to any matter required to be specified in the statement of expenditure

b) examined the material referred to in paragraph (a) for the purpose of giving the certificate

c) received all information and explanations that the auditor requested in respect of any matter required to be specified in the statement of expenditure

and

d) has no reason to believe that any matter stated in the statement of expenditure is not correct.

The registered company auditor can use this audit certificate template (PDF).

The penalty for making a false or misleading statement is up to 300 penalty units or two years' prison time.

If your party does not provide an administrative expenditure return by 22 April each year we will assume that you had no administrative costs for that year. You will need to repay all the funding you had already received from us for that year. You can either receive an invoice from us or opt to have your next payment reduced by the outstanding amount.

We are not required by legislation to publish administrative expenditure funding entitlements or calendar returns.

Legislation does require us to publish end of financial year annual returns and donation disclosures. See VEC Disclosures for more information.

Changes in membership

If an elected member leaves the party or resigns from Parliament this means that the amount of administrative expenditure funding that you receive for this quarter will decrease. The exception is if you still have more than 45 members in Parliament. For example:

  • Party A has 35 members in Parliament. When one resigns, the amount of funding Party A will receive goes down. They must notify us of this change within 28 days of the member leaving. 
  • Party B has 51 members in Parliament. There is no change to their funding entitlement when one member resigns, because they still have more than 45 members in Parliament. They do not need to notify us when this member leaves.  

If your member numbers decrease and you have been overpaid you must repay any funds you received for the member that left. We can send you an invoice or you can choose for your next funding payment to be reduced. 

If an independent elected member joins your party during an election period and you have less than 45 members in Parliament your funding entitlement will increase. If you have more than 45 members in Parliament there will be no change to the amount of funding you can receive. For example:

  • Party A has 35 members in Parliament. When an independent member joins the party, the amount of funding Party A will receive goes up. They must notify us of this change within 28 days of this member joining. 
  • Party B has 51 members in Parliament. There is no change to their funding entitlement when an independent member joins the party because they still have more than 45 members in Parliament. They do not need to notify us when this member joins.  

If you gain a new member and your funding entitlement changes your registered officer must submit a new application to receive this funding. The application must name this new member. 

Funding uses

Administrative expenditure funding must not be used for state election campaigning.

Administrative expenditure funding is only to be used for general running costs and standard operations. This includes:

  • office accommodation
  • staff employed
  • equipment (e.g. IT systems, vehicles, office stationery, etc.)
  • interest charges on loans
  • utilities
  • travel
  • advertising 
  • staff employed to manage funding and disclosure obligations (including production of returns)
  • costs related to managing funding and disclosure obligations (including production of returns)
  • costs related to auditing returns and statements in order to comply with funding and disclosure obligations. 

Read our determination for more information on what you can use this funding for. 

You cannot use administrative expenditure funding for costs:

Penalties

There are penalties if you pays any part of your administrative expenditure funding into any of your state campaign accounts. There are also penalties if you spend any of this money on political or electoral expenditure, for things covered by parliamentary allowance, or to elect someone to a non-Victorian parliament.

The penalty amount is twice the payment amount. For example:

  • Party A moves $1000 of administrative expenditure funding into their state campaign account. They must pay us $2000 in penalties. 
  • Party B spends $2000 of administrative expenditure funding on an ad campaign for the 2022 State election. They must pay us $4000 in penalties. 
  • Party C spends $3000 to help a member of the NSW branch of their party to be elected. They must pay us $6000 in penalties.

We can issue you an invoice for these penalties, or it can be deducted from future payments.

There is also a penalty of 300 penalty units or two years' imprisonment for making a false or misleading statement in a return.