About agents

What is an agent?

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

Who is the agent?

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

Recipient

Agent

Registered political parties and all recipients associated with the registered political party, i.e. endorsed candidates, groups and elected members, the party's nominated entity (if it has one) and the party itself

The Registered Officer of the registered political party. A registered political party cannot register someone else as the agent. A list of Registered Officers is available on the Currently registered parties page.

See more information for Registered Officers.

Independent candidates and independent elected members

The candidate or elected member (referred to as the default agent) unless they register someone as their agent (referred to as the registered agent)*

Groups of independent candidates running in a Legislative Council election

The candidate whose name appears first on the ballot paper for that group (referred to as the default agent) unless the default agent registers someone as their agent (referred to as the registered agent)*

Associated entities

The financial controller (referred to as the default agent), unless the default agent registers someone as their agent (referred to as the registered agent)*

Third-party campaigners (individuals)

The third-party campaigner (referred to as the default agent), unless they register someone as their agent (referred to as the registered agent)*

Third-party campaigners (organisations)

The financial controller (referred to as the default agent), unless the default agent registers someone as their agent (referred to as the registered agent)*

*Agents can be registered on VEC Disclosures.

Who is the 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).

What are the agent’s 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 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.

Who can register an agent?

The person who is prescribed in the Electoral Act 2002 as the default agent and who has registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures can register an agent.

Can anyone be registered as an agent?

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).

How do I register an agent?

The person who is prescribed in the Electoral Act 2002 as the default agent and who has registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures can register an agent through VEC Disclosures.

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 on VEC Disclosures.

Can I change the agent?

Yes, the person who is prescribed in the Electoral Act 2002 as the default agent and who has registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures 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 person who is prescribed in the Electoral Act 2002 as the default agent and who has registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures will become the agent until a new agent is registered.

Can someone else act on behalf of the agent?

A person can be registered as an agent on VEC Disclosures to manage the recipient’s funding and disclosure obligations. Once registered, that agent (the registered agent) can register one or more deputy agents on VEC Disclosures to assist with disclosing donations. The agent always has ultimate responsibility for the funding and disclosure obligations of the recipient.

The person who is prescribed in the Electoral Act 2002 as the default agent and who has registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures cannot register a deputy agent on VEC Disclosures (with the exception of Registered Officers of a registered political party).

Deputy agents

What are the deputy agent’s responsibilities?

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.

Who can register a deputy agent?

The person who has been registered as an agent for a recipient (the registered agent) can register one or more deputy agents on VEC Disclosures.

The person who is prescribed in the Electoral Act 2002 as the default agent and who has registered the recipient on VEC Disclosures  cannot register a deputy agent on VEC Disclosures (with the exception of Registered Officers of registered political parties).

Can anyone be registered as 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).

How do I register a deputy agent?

The person who has been registered as an agent for a recipient (the registered agent) can register a deputy agent on VEC Disclosures.

The VEC Disclosures User Guide has instructions for how to register a deputy agent on VEC Disclosures.

Can I change the deputy agent?

Yes, 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 de-register a deputy agent on VEC Disclosures.

Information for Registered Officers

Who is the Registered Officer?

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.

What are the Registered Officer’s funding and disclosure responsibilities?

The Registered Officer is legally responsible for the funding and disclosure obligations of the Registered Political Party and all recipients associated with the registered political party (endorsed candidates, groups and elected members and the party's nominated entity) including:

 

  • 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.

Can someone else act on behalf of the Registered Officer in relation to their funding and disclosure responsibilities?

The Registered Officer can register one or more deputy agents on VEC Disclosures (referred to as deputy registered officers) to assist with funding and disclosure obligations. The Registered Officer always has ultimate responsibility for the funding and disclosure obligations of the recipient.

Deputy agents/deputy registered officers (registered for the purpose of assisting a Registered Officer with a registered political party’s funding and disclosure obligations) 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.