About agents

An agent is the person who manages and is legally responsible for a recipient's funding and disclosure obligations.

The Electoral Act 2002sets out who the agent is for each type of recipient.

Recipient Agent
Registered political parties (RPPs)

The registered officer of the registered political party is the agent.

Parties cannot register someone else as their agent. A list of registered officers is available on the currently registered parties page.

More information for registered officers.

This includes all recipients associated with the RPP: endorsed candidates, groups and elected members, nominated entities, and the party itself.

Independent candidates and independent elected members

The candidate or elected member is the agent. This is known as the default agent.

You can register someone else to be your agent. They will be known as the registered agent.

Groups of independent candidates running in a Legislative Council election

The candidate whose name is first on the ballot paper for that group is the default agent.

This person can register someone else to be the agent. This is known as the registered agent.

Associated entities

The financial controller is the default agent for associated entities.

This person can register someone else to be the agent. Thys is known as the registered agent.

Third-party campaigners (individuals)

The third-party campaigner is the default agent.

You can register someone else to be your agent. They will be known as the registered agent.

Third-party campaigners (organisations)

The financial controller is the default agent.

This person can register someone else to be the agent. This is known as the registered agent.

You can register an agent using VEC Disclosures.

Financial controllers

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).

Responsibilities

The agent is legally responsible for:

  • registering the recipient on VEC Disclosures
  • keeping the recipient's details up to date on VEC Disclosures
  • managing the recipient's state campaign account(s)
  • ensuring donations received by the recipient are properly disclosed on VEC Disclosures
  • submitting annual returns on behalf of the recipient
  • submitting administrative expenditure returns, where applicable, on behalf of the recipient
  • managing payments of administrative expenditure, public and policy development funding (where applicable) on behalf of the recipient.

Registering an agent

Default agents as set out in the Electoral Act 2002 (listed in the table above) who have registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures can register an agent. You can register an agent using VEC Disclosures.

Any person can be registered as an agent if they:

  • are at least 18 years of age
  • do not have any convictions against the funding and disclosure provisions in Part 12 of the Electoral Act 2002 (Vic)
  • do not have any convictions against Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth).

The registered agent must complete a signed consent form and a declaration that they are eligible to be an agent.

The VEC Disclosures user guide has instructions for how to register an agent.

Changing the agent

The default agent can de-register an agent and register a new agent.

You must de-register an agent if they are no longer eligible, they have resigned, or they are deceased. You may register a new agent or the responsibility for the recipient's funding and disclosure obligations will return to the default agent.

Please contact the Funding and Disclosure Unit at disclosures@vec.vic.gov.au to de-register or request a change to the registered agent.

Please note that once an agent is de-registered, they and any deputy agents they have registered will lose access to VEC Disclosures. The default agent as set out in the Electoral Act 2002 who has registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures will become the agent until a new agent is registered.

Deputy agents

A registered agent can register one or more deputy agents on VEC Disclosures to assist with disclosing donations. Deputy agents are also known as deputy registered officers. The registered agent always has ultimate responsibility for the funding and disclosure obligations of the recipient.

Only existing registered agents and registered officers of an RPP can register a deputy agent on VEC Disclosures.

A deputy agent can submit donation disclosures through VEC Disclosures and is responsible to the agent for those donation disclosures. The agent continues to be legally responsible for all the recipient's funding and disclosure obligations, even when an obligation is carried out by a deputy agent.

A person is eligible to be registered as a deputy agent of a recipient if they are:

  • at least 18 years of age
  • do not have any convictions against the funding and disclosure provisions in Part 12 of the Electoral Act 2002(Vic)
  • do not have any convictions against Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918(Cth). 

You must de-register a deputy agent if they are no longer eligible, they have resigned, or they are deceased.

The VEC Disclosures user guide has instructions for how to register or de-register a deputy agent on VEC Disclosures.

Registered officers

Section 44 of the Electoral Act 2002 requires an eligible political party to propose a person to be the registered officer for the purposes of the Act. The registered officer can nominate a deputy registered officer of the party for the purposes of the Act (section 44(2) of the Electoral Act 2002).

For more information on registered officers and deputy registered officers and how they are nominated, please email the Candidate and Registered Political Party Services team

The registered officer is legally responsible for the funding and disclosure obligations of the Registered Political Party (RPP) and all it's recipients. Recipients include endorsed candidates, groups and elected members and the party's nominated entity).

Responsibilities include:

  • registering the recipient on VEC Disclosures
  • keeping the recipient’s details up to date on VEC Disclosures
  • managing the recipient’s State campaign account(s)
  • ensuring donations received by the recipient are properly disclosed via VEC Disclosures
  • submitting annual returns on behalf of the recipient
  • submitting administrative expenditure returns, where applicable, on behalf of the recipient
  • managing payments of administrative expenditure, public and policy development funding (where applicable) on behalf of the recipient. 

The registered officer can register one or more deputy agents on VEC Disclosures. Deputy agents are also known as deputy registered officers. Deputy agents assist with funding and disclosure obligations. The registered officer always has ultimate responsibility for the funding and disclosure obligations of the recipient.

Deputy agents registered on VEC Disclosures do not have to be the same as the deputy registered officers nominated by the registered political party for the purpose of the Part 4 of the Electoral Act 2002.

Deputy registered officers nominated by the registered political party for the purpose of the Part 4 of the Electoral Act 2002 can be registered as a deputy agent/deputy registered officer on VEC Disclosures by the registered officer. Deputy registered officers are not automatically registered in VEC Disclosures.

For example:

The registered officer for Party A decides to appoint a deputy registered officer, Ms Smith, for the purposes of the Act. The registered officer then decides to appoint a deputy agent to assist with funding and disclosure obligations. This deputy agent, though also called a deputy registered officer in some instances, does not need to be Ms Smith.

To nominate a deputy registered officer of the party for the purposes of the Act, please email the Candidate and Registered Political Party Services team.

The VEC Disclosures user guide: system registration for Registered Political Parties has instructions on how to register a deputy registered officer on VEC Disclosures.