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Administrative Compliance Policy for Political Financing

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Policy statement

This policy recognizes that instances of non-compliance with requirements of the Canada Elections Act (the Act) need to be addressed in a manner that adequately reflects the seriousness of the non-compliance and its impact on the integrity of the political financing regime.

The policy also recognizes that a better understanding of the applicable legislative requirements contributes to improved compliance and that many breaches of the political financing provisions of the Act are more appropriately dealt with through administrative compliance measures rather than by making a formal referral to the Commissioner of Canada Elections (the Commissioner).

Application of the Administrative Compliance Policy

The Administrative Compliance Policy for Political Financing applies to political parties, electoral district associations, nomination contestants, leadership contestants, candidates, third parties, and contributors. It is administered by the Compliance Assistance Unit of the Political Financing Sector at Elections Canada.

Guiding principles

The following principles identify circumstances in which the public interest in improved compliance with the legislation and in the efficient use of resources warrants the use of administrative compliance measures rather than making a formal referral to the Commissioner.

  1. The non-compliance does not affect the integrity and fair administration of the political financing regime.
  2. The non-compliance is not of such a nature as to warrant public censure.
  3. The circumstances of the non-compliance are such that formal enforcement is not required for the purposes of future deterrence.
  4. The application of the policy to a particular instance of non-compliance can be determined on the basis of the factual information available without any investigation being required.
  5. The non-compliance does not undermine public perception of a fair and equal operation of the compliance process.

Applicability criteria

Before administrative compliance measures are resorted to, the following criteria should be met.

  1. No other breach of a requirement of the Act by the same person or entity is subject to a referral to the Commissioner.
  2. No evidence suggests that the person or entity has intentionally acted contrary to the Act.
  3. The breach does not involve any unusual circumstances.

Administrative compliance measures

In most cases, Elections Canada will issue a letter outlining the non-compliance and explaining the requirements of the Act for future reference. Elections Canada may also use other means to provide the required information on the application of the Act.

Compliance process

The appended flowchart illustrates the administrative compliance process.

Effective date

This Administrative Compliance Policy for Political Financing is effective August 2010.

Annex Flow chart illustrating the administrative compliance process

Flow chart illustrating the administrative compliance process
Text description of flow chart