Accounting Units and "responsible persons"
An Accounting Unit is defined in the Electoral Acts as a branch or other subsidiary organisation of a political party which in any particular year receives a donation, the value of which exceeds €100.00.
A "subsidiary organisation" of a political party means a body or association which:
- forms part of a political party, or
- is established by or under the constitution of a political party, or
- is effectively controlled by a political party or the officers thereof, or
- has functions conferred on it by or under the constitution of the party.
A donation is defined in the Electoral Acts as a contribution given for political purposes and can include money, property, goods or the free or below cost use of goods, property or services. It also includes the net value of a contribution made to a fund-raising event.
The Appropriate Officer of a political party must notify the Standards in Public Office Commission (Standards Commission) each year of the name and address of each of the party's Accounting Units. The Appropriate Officer must also notify the Standards Commission of the name of each Accounting Unit's "responsible person". The responsible person of an Accounting Unit is defined in the Act as the treasurer or any other person responsible for dealing with donations to the unit.
An Accounting Unit which receives a monetary donation exceeding €100.00 is required to open and maintain a political donations account. Where an Accounting Unit has been required to open a political donations account, its responsible person must make a return to the Standards Commission each year in respect of that account.
Accounting Units are prohibited from accepting anonymous donations (exceeding €100.00 in value) or from accepting "foreign donations" or donations in excess of the prescribed limit (€2,500.00 to the political party from the same person in any particular year).
Not later than 31 March each year, the responsible person of each accounting unit must furnish to the Standards Commission:
- a statement from the financial institution where the political donations account was opened specifying the transactions that have taken place in relation to the account during the preceding year, and
- a certificate, signed by him her, stating that all monetary donations received during the preceding year were lodged to the account and that all amounts debited from the account were used for political purposes,
- and a statutory declaration, signed by him/her, that, to the best of the responsible person's knowledge and belief, the certificate is correct in every material respect and that all reasonable action has been taken in order to satisfy him/herself as to the accuracy of the certificate. The Statutory Declaration must be witnessed by a person who is either a practising solicitor, a Commissioner for Oaths, a Peace Commissioner or a Notary Public.
Further information regarding the obligations attaching to Accounting Units under the Electoral Acts is available in Parts 6 and 7 of the Standards Commission's "Guidelines for Political Parties on steps to be taken concerning donations and prohibited donations".
Accounting Units CMD SD 2016.docx (size 79.7 KB)
Accounting Units CMD SD 2016.pdf (size 547.2 KB)