Record Keeping

General requirements

Complete and accurate accounting and financial records must be kept in order to for political donations and electoral expenditure to be properly disclosed.

The NSWEC issues party agents and official agents with receipt and acknowledgement books to enable agents to issue receipts and acknowledgements to donors. Contact us to obtain a receipt and acknowledgement book.

Records that are required to be kept by political parties, elected members, candidates, groups and third-party campaigners must be kept for at least 3 years.

Accounting records may be kept in paper or electronic form. If records are kept in electronic form the records must comply with the requirements for keeping paper records to the extent the requirements can be reasonably complied with.

Electronically recorded entries must appear in chronological sequence. All entries must be numbered sequentially under a controlled program so the completeness of the entries can be reasonably complied with.

If an amendment is to be made to an entry, a separate entry effecting the amendment must be made rather than changing the details of an entry.

A back-up copy of all records that are less than 6 years old is to be made at least once a month and the most recent back-up copy is to be kept at a separate location.

Political Party Records

Political parties are required to keep the following accounting records:

  • a receipt book;
  • an acknowledgement book;
  • a deposit book;
  • a cash book, or a receipts cash book and payments cash book;
  • a cheque book;
  • a journal; and
  • a ledger.

Elected member, candidate, group and third-party campaigner Records

Elected members, candidates, groups and third-party campaigners are required to keep the following accounting records:

  • a receipt book;
  • an acknowledgement book;
  • a cheque book;
  • a petty cash book; and
  • a cash book, or a receipts cash book and payments cash book.

Records of advertising material

A party or an official agent must keep a copy of any recording of an advertisement which is electoral expenditure for 12 months after the advertising was last broadcast.

A party or official agent must keep for at least 3 years:

  • a copy of the text from any radio or internet advertisement;
  • if an advertisement was placed in a newspaper or periodical:
    • the full page of the newspaper or periodical in which the ad is placed; and
    • a statement identifying the ad and listing the name of each publication the ad was published, the size of the ad and the date of each publication.

As part of a compliance audit the NSWEC may require a party or official agent to provide advertising records.