Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART III, ACCOUNTING REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTERED PARTIES - continued
Statements of accounts - continued

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Public inspection of parties' statements of accounts.     42. Where the Commission receive any statement of accounts under section 41, they shall-
 
 
    (a) as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the statement, make a copy of the statement available for public inspection; and
 
    (b) keep any such copy available for public inspection for the period for which the statement is kept by them or, if they so determine, during such shorter period as they may specify.
Criminal penalty for failure to submit proper statement of accounts.     43. - (1) If in the case of a registered party-
 
 
    (a) any requirements of regulations under section 38(2)(a) are not complied with in relation to any statement of accounts delivered to the Commission under section 41, or
 
    (b) any statement of accounts, notification or auditor's report required to be delivered to the Commission under that section is not delivered to them before the end of the relevant period,
  the person who was the treasurer of the party immediately before the end of that period is guilty of an offence.
 
      (2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove that he took all reasonable steps for securing (as the case may be)-
 
 
    (a) that the requirements mentioned in subsection (1)(a) were complied with in relation to the statement of accounts, or
 
    (b) that the document mentioned in subsection (1)(b) would be delivered to the Commission before the end of the relevant period.
      (3) It is also a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove-
 
 
    (a) that any failure to comply with the requirements mentioned in subsection (1)(a) was attributable to things done or omitted to be done at a time before he became the treasurer of the party, and
 
    (b) that he took all reasonable steps to overcome the consequences of the acts or omissions.
      (4) In this section "the relevant period" means the period allowed by section 41(1) or (2) for delivering the statement, notification or report to the Commission or, if that period has been extended (or further extended) under section 41(3), that period as so extended.
 
 
Revision of statements of accounts
Revision of defective statements of accounts.     44. - (1) If it appears to the treasurer of a registered party that any statement of accounts for any financial year of the party has not complied with any requirements of regulations under section 38(2)(a) ("the prescribed requirements"), he may prepare a revised statement of accounts.
 
      (2) Where that statement of accounts has been delivered to the Commission, the revisions shall be confined to-
 
 
    (a) the correction of those respects in which the statement did not comply with the prescribed requirements, and
 
    (b) the making of any necessary consequential alterations.
      (3) If it appears to the Commission that there is, or may be, a question whether any statement of accounts delivered to them under section 41 complies with the prescribed requirements, they may give notice to the treasurer of the party in question indicating the respects in which it appears to them that such a question arises or may arise.
 
      (4) The notice shall specify a period of not less than one month for the treasurer to give the Commission an explanation of the statement of accounts or prepare a revised statement.
 
      (5) If at the end of the specified period, or such longer period as the Commission may allow, it appears to the Commission-
 
 
    (a) that no satisfactory explanation of the statement of accounts has been given, and
 
    (b) that the statement has not been revised so as to comply with the prescribed requirements,
  they may, if they think fit, make an application to the court under subsection (6).
 
      (6) The Commission may under this subsection make an application to the court-
 
 
    (a) for a declaration or declarator that the statement of accounts does not comply with the prescribed requirements, and
 
    (b) for an order requiring the treasurer of the party to prepare a revised statement of accounts.
      (7) If the court orders the preparation of revised accounts, it may-
 
 
    (a) give such directions as it thinks fit;
 
    (b) order that all or part of the costs (or in Scotland expenses) of and incidental to the application are to be borne by the registered leader and the treasurer of the party.
      (8) Where the court makes an order under paragraph (b) of subsection (7) it shall have regard to whether the officers mentioned in that paragraph knew or ought to have known that the statement did not comply with the prescribed requirements, and it may-
 
 
    (a) order the payment of different amounts by different officers;
 
    (b) exclude one of the officers from the order; or
 
    (c) exclude both officers from the order and instead order the payment of all or part of the costs (or expenses) mentioned in that paragraph out of the funds of the party.
      (9) The Commission may by regulations make provision with respect to the application of provisions of this Part in relation to the preparation and auditing of revised statements of accounts, and may in particular make provision for any matter for which provision may be made by regulations under section 39(6).
 
      (10) The provisions of this section apply equally to statements of accounts that have already been revised, in which case the references to revised statements of accounts shall be read as references to further revised statements.
 
      (11) In this section "the court"-
 
 
    (a) in relation to England and Wales or Northern Ireland, means a county court; and
 
    (b) in relation to Scotland, means the sheriff.
 
Parties with accounting units
Division of responsibilities in case of party with accounting units.     45. Where a registered party is a party with accounting units, sections 37 to 44 have effect in accordance with Schedule 4, which makes provision for securing that-
 
 
    (a) financial matters relating to the party exclusive of those relating to any accounting unit, and
 
    (b) financial matters relating to any such unit,
  are dealt with separately for the purposes of this Part.
 
 
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