Previously on the blog we talked about our consultation on refreshing our party finance Enforcement Policy. The consultation has now ended and the new policy has now taken effect, in time for the May elections and the EU referendum. You can find the new policy on our website and we’re also publishing a brief report on the consultation.
Overall, the responses we had to the consultation were very supportive of the changes we proposed, but there were also some helpful comments and suggestions that we’ve incorporated into the final policy. Some of the key changes in the way we regulate political finance under the new policy are:
- We’ll be using our powers to obtain information more often, so that we can deal with issues quickly and comprehensively
- We’ll be publishing more detailed information about cases where we feel that it will be helpful to voters and those we regulate to inform their understanding of the rules and how we apply them
- We’ll be doing more checks on those we regulate to make sure they have good systems in place
- We’ll be tougher with those who don’t follow their statutory duties without a good excuse
- We’ll be making sure parties and others keep their contact details up to date, and fining those that don’t, so valuable time isn’t wasted having to chase them.
2016 is going to be a very busy year for the Commission, with elections in May and the EU referendum in June. We’ll be working hard to make sure that everyone involved in these important events knows of their statutory responsibilities and how to follow them. Where parties and campaigners don’t follow the rules, we will take action using the new Enforcement Policy, putting the interests of voters first.
Majella La Praik and Dan Adamson