Lead implementing agency/actor
Department of Finance (with the Australian Electoral Commission)
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
The Commonwealth funding and disclosure scheme, established under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) specifies arrangements for the public funding of federal election campaigns, and the disclosure of funding source. The objective of the scheme is to provide transparency and inform the public about the financial dealings of political parties and candidates, and others involved in the electoral process. The scheme requires relevant organisations and individuals to lodge an annual return with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
Annual returns are published on the AEC website at the beginning of February for the previous financial year. Different arrangements apply to elections. Election disclosure returns are published by the AEC on its website 24 weeks after polling day. The delay between transactions being entered into, and their disclosure, detracts from transparency and affects the ability of the public to form judgements about political parties, candidates and other actors that seek to influence election outcomes, and to apply that knowledge in exercising their franchise. This is particularly the case in an election context where the voting public is not informed of donations or electoral expenditure prior to casting their votes.
What is the commitment?
Australia will investigate options for enhancing the timeliness and the accessibility of relevant information, through enhancing the electoral funding and disclosure scheme.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
Our ambition is to develop meaningful options for reform of Commonwealth electoral law to enhance the existing electoral funding and disclosure scheme and build on other, related, reform. This will support increased transparency and increase public confidence in Australian democracy.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
This commitment will advance the OGP values of transparency and civic participation by giving due consideration to:
- improving the accessibility of information provided to the public
- providing the public with more frequent and timely information
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable
|Start Date:||End Date:|
JSCEM Inquiry and reporting
|Inquiry into 2016 election including relevant terms of reference.||Q4 2018|
Government considers recommendations
|Q1 2019||Q3 2019|
Parliament and other relevant stakeholders consider Government decisions
|Q1 2020||Q3 2020|
Resource Management Branch, Department of Finance: email@example.com
Other actors involved
State actors: Australian Electoral Commission
CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups: Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, all third party and political campaigners required to register with the Australian Electoral Commission
Is this draft commitment specific, relevant, and ambitious?
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The outputs from this and the face-to-face consultations will be made available to the Open Government Forum. At its meeting in July, the Forum will be asked to consider feedback and make final recommendations to government on the form of Australia's second Open Government National Action Plan 2018-20.