Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords

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  PART X
  MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL
 
Overseas electors
Reduction of qualifying period for overseas electors.     134. In each of the following provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (as amended by the Representation of the People Act 2000), namely-
 
 
    (a) section 1(3) and (4) (conditions to be satisfied by British citizen in order to qualify as overseas elector in relation to parliamentary election), and
 
    (b) section 3(3) and (4) (conditions to be satisfied by peer in order to qualify as overseas elector in relation to European Parliamentary election),
  for "20 years" there shall be substituted "10 years".
 
 
Enforcement of Act
General function of Commission with respect to monitoring compliance with controls imposed by the Act etc.     135. - (1) The Commission shall have the general function of monitoring compliance with-
 
 
    (a) the restrictions and other requirements imposed by or by virtue of Parts III to VII; and
 
    (b) the restrictions imposed by or by virtue of any enactment on the incurring of election expenses by or on behalf of candidates at elections.
      (2) Subsection (1)(b) does not apply in relation to local government elections in Scotland.
 
Supervisory powers of Commission.     136. - (1) The Commission may by notice require the relevant person in the case of any supervised organisation or individual (or former supervised organisation or individual)-
 
 
    (a) to produce, for inspection by the Commission or a person authorised by the Commission, any such books, documents or other records relating to the income and expenditure of the organisation or individual as the Commission may reasonably require for the purposes of the carrying out by them of their functions, or
 
    (b) to furnish the Commission, or a person authorised by the Commission, with such information or explanation relating to the income and expenditure of the organisation or individual as the Commission may reasonably so require,
  and to do so within such reasonable time as is specified in the notice.
 
      (2) The Commission, or a person authorised by the Commission, may-
 
 
    (a) make copies of, or records of any information contained in, any books, documents or other records produced under subsection (1)(a);
 
    (b) make copies or records of any information or explanation furnished under subsection (1)(b).
      (3) A person authorised in writing by the Commission may, for the purposes of the carrying out by the Commission of their functions, enter at any reasonable time premises occupied by a supervised organisation or individual and having entered any such premises may-
 
 
    (a) inspect any books, documents or other records relating to the income and expenditure of the organisation or individual, and
 
    (b) make copies of, or records of any information contained in, any such books, documents or other records.
      (4) Where any such records as are mentioned in subsection (1) or (3) are kept in electronic form, then-
 
 
    (a) the power of the Commission under subsection (1) to require any such records to be produced for inspection includes power to require a copy of the records to be made available for inspection in legible form (and subsection (2)(a) shall accordingly apply in relation to any copy so made available); and
 
    (b) the power of any person ("the inspector") under subsection (3) to inspect any such records includes power to require any person on the premises in question to give the inspector such assistance as he may reasonably require to enable him-
 
      (i) to inspect and make copies of the records in legible form or to make records of information contained in them, or
 
      (ii) to inspect and check the operation of any computer, and any associated apparatus or material, that is or has been in use in connection with the keeping of the records.
      (5) A person commits an offence if he fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with any requirement imposed under this section.
 
      (6) A person commits an offence if he intentionally obstructs a person authorised as mentioned in subsection (3) in the carrying out of that person's functions under that subsection.
 
      (7) Subject to subsection (8), subsection (1) shall apply in relation to-
 
 
    (a) a regulated donee (or former regulated donee), or
 
    (b) a person who is (or has been) a candidate at an election (other than a local government election in Scotland) or the election agent for such a candidate,
  as it applies to a supervised organisation or individual (or former supervised organisation or individual); and subsections (2), (4) and (5) apply accordingly.
 
      (8) The powers conferred by virtue of subsection (7) may only be exercised by the Commission (or, as the case may be, by a person authorised by them) for or in connection with obtaining-
 
 
    (a) such information or explanations relating to the income and expenditure of regulated donees in connection with their political activities as the Commission reasonably require for the purpose of monitoring compliance on the part of regulated donees with the requirements imposed by or by virtue of Schedule 6, or
 
    (b) such information or explanations relating to expenses incurred by or on behalf of candidates within paragraph (b) of that subsection as the Commission reasonably require for the purpose of monitoring compliance on the part of such candidates and their agents with the restrictions imposed by or by virtue of any enactment on the incurring of such expenses,
  as the case may be.
 
      (9) In this section-
 
 
    "regulated donee" and "political activities", in relation to a regulated donee, each have the same meaning as in Schedule 6;
 
    "relevant person", in relation to a supervised organisation or individual, means-
 
      (a) in the case of an organisation, any person who is or has been the treasurer or another officer of the organisation, and
 
      (b) in the case of an individual, that individual;
 
    "supervised organisation or individual" means-
 
      (a) a registered party or (in the case of such a party with accounting units) the central organisation of the party or any of its accounting units,
 
      (b) a recognised third party (within the meaning of Part VI), or
 
      (c) a permitted participant (within the meaning of Part VII).
Civil penalty for failure to deliver documents etc.     137. - (1) This section applies where-
 
 
    (a) the requirements of section 41(1) or (2) are not complied with in relation to any statement of accounts, notification or auditor's report relating to a registered party or any accounting unit of such a party;
 
    (b) the requirements of section 60(1) or (2) are not complied with in relation to any donation report relating to a registered party;
 
    (c) the requirements of section 69(5) are not complied with in relation to the notification, by a treasurer of a registered party, of any event falling within that provision;
 
    (d) the requirements of section 77(1), (2) or (3) are not complied with in relation to any return or auditor's report relating to a registered party;
 
    (e) the requirements of section 93(1), (2) or (3) are not complied with in relation to any return or auditor's report relating to a recognised third party (within the meaning of Part VI); or
 
    (f) the requirements of section 117(1), (2) or (3) are not complied with in relation to any return or auditor's report relating to a permitted participant (within the meaning of Part VII).
      (2) In a case where this section applies, the relevant organisation is liable to a civil penalty under this section.
 
  This is in addition to any criminal liability of any person under any other provision of this Act.
 
      (3) The amount of the penalty shall be determined by reference to the length of the period between-
 
 
    (a) either-
 
      (i) the end of the period within which the document mentioned in subsection (1)(a), (b), (d), (e) or (f) was required to be delivered to the Commission, or
 
      (ii) the event mentioned in subsection (1)(c),
 
    as the case may be, and
 
    (b) the day on which the requirements are complied with,
  and shall be so determined as follows:-
 
 
 
Length of period
 
Penalty
 
Not more than 3 months.
 
£500
 
More than 3 months but not more than 6 months.
 
£1,000
 
More than 6 months but less than 12 months.
 
£2,000
      (4) If the requirements are not complied with by the end of the period of 12 months after the end of the period referred to in subsection (3)(a)(i) or (as the case may be) the end of the period of 12 months after the event referred to in subsection (3)(a)(ii), a penalty of £5,000 is payable-
 
 
    (a) in respect of that period of 12 months, and
 
    (b) in respect of each subsequent period of 12 months during any part of which the requirements are not complied with.
      (5) Any penalty imposed by this section-
 
 
    (a) shall be recoverable in proceedings brought by the Commission as a debt due to them; and
 
    (b) once so recovered, shall be paid by them into the Consolidated Fund.
      (6) Where the relevant organisation is an unincorporated association, any such penalty shall be paid out of the funds of the organisation.
 
      (7) In the application of this section in relation to any such document as is mentioned in subsection (1)(a)-
 
 
    (a) subsection (3)(a)(i) shall be read as referring to the relevant period within the meaning of section 43 or the period specified in paragraph 8(2)(b) of Schedule 4 (as the case may be); and
 
    (b) in the case of a document relating to an accounting unit of a registered party-
 
      (i) subsection (3) shall have effect as if the sums specified in the second column of the table were instead £100, £250 and £500, and
 
      (ii) subsection (4) shall have effect as if the sum there specified were instead £1,000.
      (8) For the purposes of this section "the relevant organisation" is-
 
 
    (a) in a case falling within subsection (1)(a) to (d), the registered party concerned;
 
    (b) in a case falling within subsection (1)(e), the recognised third party concerned; and
 
    (c) in a case falling within subsection (1)(f), the permitted participant concerned.
General offences.     138. - (1) A person commits an offence if he-
 
 
    (a) alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys, or
 
    (b) causes or permits the alteration, suppression, concealment or destruction of,
  any document or other record relating to the financial affairs or transactions of a supervised organisation or individual with the intention of falsifying the document or record or enabling that organisation or individual to evade any of the provisions of this Act.
 
      (2) Where the relevant person in the case of a supervised organisation, or a person acting on his behalf, requests a person holding an office in any such organisation ("the office-holder") to supply the relevant person with any information which he reasonably requires for the purposes of any of the provisions of this Act, the office-holder commits an offence if-
 
 
    (a) without reasonable excuse, he fails to supply the relevant person with that information as soon as is reasonably practicable, or
 
    (b) in purporting to comply with the request, he knowingly supplies the relevant person with any information which is false in a material particular.
      (3) A person commits an offence if, with intent to deceive, he withholds-
 
 
    (a) from the relevant person in the case of a supervised organisation, or
 
    (b) from a supervised individual,
  any information required by the relevant person or that individual for the purposes of any of the provisions of this Act.
 
      (4) In this section-
 
 
    (a) "supervised individual" means an individual who is a recognised third party or a permitted participant;
 
    (b) "supervised organisation" means-
 
      (i) a registered party,
 
      (ii) an accounting unit of a registered party,
 
      (iii) a recognised third party other than an individual, or
 
      (iv) a permitted participant other than an individual;
 
    (c) "relevant person" means-
 
      (i) in relation to a registered party or an accounting unit of a registered party, the treasurer of the party or unit,
 
      (ii) in relation to a recognised third party, the responsible person for the purposes of Part VI,
 
      (iii) in relation to a permitted participant, the responsible person for the purposes of Part VII;
 
    and "recognised third party" and "permitted participant" have the same meaning as in Parts VI and VII respectively.
 
Inspection of registers etc.
Inspection of Commission's registers etc.     139. - (1) This section applies to any register kept by the Commission under-
 
 
    (a) section 21;
 
    (b) section 64;
 
    (c) section 84; or
 
    (d) section 102.
      (2) The Commission shall make a copy of the register available for public inspection during ordinary office hours, either at the Commission's offices or at some convenient place appointed by them.
 
      (3) The Commission may make other arrangements for members of the public to have access to the contents of the register.
 
      (4) If requested to do so by any person, the Commission shall supply him with a copy of the register or any part of it.
 
      (5) The Commission may charge such reasonable fee as they may determine in respect of-
 
 
    (a) any inspection or access allowed under subsection (2) or (3); or
 
    (b) any copy supplied under subsection (4).
      (6) Subsections (2) to (5) shall apply in relation to any document a copy of which the Commission are for the time being required to make available for public inspection by virtue of-
 
 
    (a) section 42,
 
    (b) section 79,
 
    (c) section 95, or
 
    (d) section 119,
  as they apply in relation to any register falling within subsection (1).
 
 
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