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Political Financing Handbook for Electoral District Associations and Financial Agents (EC 20089) – June 2015

This document is the DRAFT version of Elections Canada's guideline: OGI 2015-02

Chapter 2 – Roles and Responsibilities

This chapter covers the following topics:

Introduction

The electoral district association has to appoint a chief executive officer, a financial agent and an auditor before registration. In addition, a registered association may appoint electoral district agents to perform certain financial tasks. This chapter discusses these mandatory and optional appointments and the responsibilities of the persons appointed.

2.1 Mandatory appointments

Chief executive officer

The association must appoint a chief executive officer before applying for registration. The Canada Elections Act does not specify eligibility requirements for this role.

The chief executive officer's responsibilities include:

Financial agent

The association must appoint a financial agent before applying for registration.

The financial agent of a registered association is responsible for administering its financial transactions and reporting them, as required by the Canada Elections Act.

The registered association may have only one financial agent at a time.

Eligibility

Who can become a financial agent?

Note: Although it is not a legal requirement, a financial agent should be experienced in managing finances. The role requires a strong ability to control, record and administer financial transactions, as well as to create financial reports.

Who is not eligible to act as financial agent?

Appointment process

The association's application for registration must include the name and address of the financial agent and a signed consent from the financial agent to act in that capacity.

If for any reason the financial agent is no longer able to continue in that role, the association must appoint a new financial agent without delay. The association has to notify Elections Canada of the new appointment within 30 days by sending the General Form – Electoral District Association. The report has to include a signed consent from the new financial agent.

The financial agent's responsibilities and obligations

It is advisable to open a bank account to be used exclusively for the registered association's finances. The financial agent and authorized electoral district agents may have signing authority.

Auditor

The association must appoint an auditor before applying for registration.

A registered association may have only one auditor at a time, but the same person can be the auditor for more than one registered association.

Eligibility

Who can become an auditor?

Who is not eligible to be an auditor?

Appointment process

The association's application for registration must include the name and address of the auditor and a signed consent from the auditor to act in that capacity.

If for any reason the auditor is no longer able to continue in that role, the association must appoint a new auditor without delay. The association must notify Elections Canada of the new appointment within 30 days by sending the General Form – Electoral District Association. The report has to include a signed consent from the new auditor.

The auditor's responsibilities and obligations

If the registered association receives contributions totalling $5,000 or more, or incurs expenses totalling $5,000 or more in a fiscal period, the auditor examines the registered association's financial records and prepares a report stating the auditor's opinion as to whether the association's financial return presents the information contained in the financial records on which it is based. Note: transfers to affiliated political entities are not expenses.

The auditor has a right to access all documents of the association, and may require the financial agent to provide any information or explanation that is necessary to enable the auditor to prepare the report.

Payment of audit expenses

After Elections Canada receives the auditor's report and the copy of the auditor's invoice, it authorizes a payment of the audit expenses up to a maximum of $1,500.

Note: The subsidy is provided only when an audit is required for the association's annual financial return.

2.2 Optional appointments

Electoral district agents

A registered association may appoint electoral district agents, who may be authorized by the association to accept contributions, borrow funds or incur and pay expenses on behalf of the association.

A registered association may have any number of electoral district agents.

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements for this role are the same as for the role of the financial agent. In addition, the registered association has to specify the terms and conditions of the appointment(s).

Appointment process

A registered association may appoint electoral district agents at any time.

Within 30 days of the appointment, the registered association must provide Elections Canada with a written report that lists the names and addresses of the new electoral district agents, and specifies the terms and conditions of the appointments. The report must include the financial agent's signed declaration.

Elections Canada enters the information in the Registry of Electoral District Associations.

The electoral district agent's responsibilities and obligations

Authorized electoral district agents might perform one or all of the following tasks: