Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART V, CONTROL OF CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURE - continued
General restrictions relating to campaign expenditure - continued

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Disputed claims.     76. - (1) This section applies where-
 
 
    (a) a claim for payment in respect of campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of a registered party as mentioned in section 75(1) is sent to-
 
      (i) the treasurer of the party, or
 
      (ii) any other person with whose authority it is alleged that the expenditure was incurred,
 
    within the period allowed under that provision; and
 
    (b) the treasurer or other person to whom the claim is sent fails or refuses to pay the claim within the period allowed under section 75(2);
       and the claim is referred to in this section as "the disputed claim".
 
      (2) The person by whom the disputed claim is made may bring an action for the disputed claim, and nothing in section 75(2) shall apply in relation to any sum paid in pursuance of any judgment or order made by a court in the proceedings.
 
      (3) Subsections (4) to (8) of section 75 shall apply in relation to an application made by the person mentioned in subsection (1)(b) above for leave to pay the disputed claim as they apply in relation to an application for leave to pay a claim (whether it is disputed or otherwise) which is sent in after the period allowed under section 75(1).
 
 
Financial limits
Limits on campaign expenditure.     77. - (1) Schedule 9 has effect for imposing limits on campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of registered parties in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland during the periods specified in that Schedule.
 
      (2) Where, during the period in relation to which any such limit applies in relation to a registered party, any campaign expenditure is incurred by or on behalf of the party in excess of that limit-
 
 
    (a) the treasurer or any deputy treasurer of the party is guity of an offence if
 
      (i) he authorised the expenditure to be incurred by or on behalf of the party, and
 
      (ii) he knew or ought reasonably to have known that the expenditure would be incurred in excess of that limit; and
 
    (b) the party is also guilty of an offence.
      (3) It shall be a defence for any person or registered party charged with an offence under subsection (2) to show-
 
 
    (a) that any code of practice for the time being issued under paragraph 6 of Schedule 8 was complied with in determining the items and amounts of campaign expenditure to be entered in the relevant return under section 78, and
 
    (b) that the limit would not have been exceeded on the basis of the items and amounts entered in that return.
      (4) Where-
 
 
    (a) at any time before the beginning of any relevant campaign period (within the meaning of section 78), any expenses within section 70(2) are incurred by or on behalf of a registered party in respect of any property, services or facilities, but
 
    (b) the property, services or facilities is or are made use of by or on behalf of the party during the relevant campaign period in circumstances such that, had any expenses been incurred in respect of that use during that period, they would by virtue of section 70(2) have constituted campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of the party during that period,
       the appropriate proportion of the expenses mentioned in paragraph (a) shall be treated for the purposes of this section, sections 78 to 81 and Schedule 9 as campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of the party during that period.
 
      (5) For the purposes of subsection (4) the appropriate proportion of the expenses mentioned in paragraph (a) of that subsection is such proportion of those expenses as is reasonably attributable to the use made of the property, services or facilities as mentioned in paragraph (b).
 
 
Returns
Returns as to campaign expenditure.     78. - (1) For the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) "the relevant campaign period", in relation to any limit imposed by Schedule 9, is the period in relation to which the limit is so imposed; and
 
    (b) a part of the United Kingdom is a "relevant" part, in relation to any limit imposed by Schedule 9, if the limit applies to campaign expenditure which (within the meaning of that Schedule) is incurred in that part.
      (2) Where-
 
 
    (a) any limit imposed by Schedule 9 applies to campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of a registered party during the relevant campaign period, and
 
    (b) that period ends,
       the treasurer of the party shall prepare a return under this section in respect of campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of the party during that period in any relevant part or parts of the United Kingdom.
 
      (3) A return under this section must specify the poll for the relevant election (or, as the case may be, the polls for the relevant elections) that took place during the relevant campaign period, and must contain-
 
 
    (a) a statement of all payments made in respect of campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of the party during the relevant campaign period in the relevant part or parts of the United Kingdom;
 
    (b) a statement of all disputed claims (within the meaning of section 76) of which the treasurer is aware; and
 
    (c) a statement of all the unpaid claims (if any) of which the treasurer is aware in respect of which an application has been made, or is about to be made, to a court under section 75(4).
      (4) A return under this section must be accompanied by-
 
 
    (a) all invoices and receipts relating to the payments mentioned in subsection (3)(a); and
 
    (b) in the case of any campaign expenditure treated as incurred by the party by virtue of section 71, any declaration falling to be made with respect to that expenditure in accordance with section 71(6).
      (5) Where, however, any payments or claims falling to be dealt with in a return by virtue of subsection (3) have already been dealt with in an earlier return under this section-
 
 
    (a) it shall be sufficient for the later return to deal with those payments or claims by specifying overall amounts in respect of them; and
 
    (b) the requirement imposed by subsection (4) does not apply to any invoices, receipts or declarations which accompanied the earlier return and are specified as such in the later return.
      (6) The Commission may by regulations prescribe a form of return which may be used for the purposes of this section.
 
Auditor's report on return.     79. - (1) Where during a relevant campaign period the campaign expenditure incurred by or on behalf of a registered party in the relevant part or parts of the United Kingdom exceeds £250,000, a report must be prepared by a qualified auditor on the return prepared under section 78 in respect of that expenditure.
 
      (2) The following provisions, namely-
 
 
    (a) section 41(6) and (7), and
 
    (b) section 42,
       shall apply in relation to the appointment of an auditor to prepare a report under subsection (1) or (as the case may be) an auditor so appointed as they apply in relation to the appointment of an auditor to carry out an audit under section 41 or (as the case may be) an auditor so appointed.
 
      (3) Subsection (1) of section 78 applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of section 78.
 
Delivery of returns to the Commission.     80. - (1) Where-
 
 
    (a) any return falls to be prepared under section 78, and
 
    (b) an auditor's report on it falls to be prepared under section 79(1),
       the treasurer of the party shall deliver the return to the Commission, together with a copy of the auditor's report, within six months of the end of the relevant campaign period.
 
      (2) In the case of any other return falling to be prepared under section 78, the treasurer of the party shall deliver the return to the Commission within three months of the end of the relevant campaign period.
 
      (3) Where, after the date on which a return is delivered to the Commission under this section, leave is given by a court under section 75(4) for any claim to be paid, the treasurer of the party in question shall, within seven days after the payment, deliver to the Commission a return of any sums paid in pursuance of the leave accompanied by a copy of the order of the court giving the leave.
 
      (4) The treasurer of a registered party commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he-
 
 
    (a) fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (1) or (2) in relation to any return or report to which that subsection applies;
 
    (b) delivers a return which does not comply with the requirements of section 78(3) or (4); or
 
    (c) fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (3) in relation to a return under that subsection.
Declaration by treasurer as to return under section 78.     81. - (1) Each return under section 78 must, when delivered to the Commission, be accompanied by a declaration which complies with subsection (2) and is signed by the treasurer.
 
      (2) The declaration must state-
 
 
    (a) that the treasurer has examined the return in question; and
 
    (b) that to the best of his knowledge and belief-
 
      (i) it is a complete and correct return as required by law, and
 
      (ii) all expenses shown in it as paid have been paid by him or a deputy treasurer of the party or a person authorised under section 74.
      (3) A person commits an offence if-
 
 
    (a) he knowingly or recklessly makes a false declaration under this section; or
 
    (b) subsection (1) is contravened at a time when he is treasurer of the registered party to which the return relates.
 
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