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

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Financial limits
General restriction on referendum expenses.     117. - (1) The total referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of any individual or body during the referendum period in the case of a particular referendum to which this Part applies must not exceed £10,000 unless the individual or body is a permitted participant.
 
      (2) Where-
 
 
    (a) during the referendum period any referendum expenses are incurred by or on behalf of any individual in excess of the limit imposed by subsection (1), and
 
    (b) he is not a permitted participant,
  he is guilty of an offence if he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the expenses were being incurred in excess of that limit.
 
      (3) Where-
 
 
    (a) during the referendum period any referendum expenses are incurred by or on behalf of any body in excess of the limit imposed by subsection (1), and
 
    (b) the body is not a permitted participant,
  any person who authorised the expenses to be incurred by or on behalf of the body is guilty of an offence if he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the expenses would be incurred in excess of that limit.
 
      (4) Where subsection (3)(a) and (b) apply, the body in question is also guilty of an offence.
 
      (5) Where-
 
 
    (a) at any time before the beginning of any referendum period, any expenses within section 111(2) are incurred by or on behalf of an individual or body 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 individual or body during the referendum period in circumstances such that, had any expenses been incurred in respect of that use during that period, they would by virtue of section 111(2) have constituted referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body during that period,
  the appropriate proportion of the expenses mentioned in paragraph (a) shall be treated for the purposes of this section as referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body during that period.
 
      (6) For the purposes of subsection (5) 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).
 
Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants.     118. - (1) Schedule 14 has effect for imposing, in connection with a referendum to which this Part applies, limits on referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of permitted participants during the referendum period in the case of that referendum.
 
      (2) Where any referendum expenses are incurred by or on behalf of a permitted participant during any such period in excess of any limit imposed by Schedule 14, then-
 
 
    (a) if the permitted participant is a registered party falling within section 105(1)(a)-
 
      (i) the responsible person or any deputy treasurer of the party is guilty of an offence if he authorised the expenses to be incurred by or on behalf of the party and he knew or ought reasonably to have known that the expenses would be incurred in excess of that limit, and
 
      (ii) the party is also guilty of an offence;
 
    (b) if the permitted participant is an individual falling within section 105(1)(b), that individual is guilty of an offence if he knew or ought reasonably to have known that the expenses would be incurred in excess of that limit;
 
    (c) if the permitted participant is a body falling within section 105(1)(b)-
 
      (i) the responsible person is guilty of an offence if he authorised the expenses to be incurred by or on behalf of the body and he knew or ought reasonably to have known that the expenses would be incurred in excess of that limit, and
 
      (ii) the body is also guilty of an offence.
      (3) It shall be a defence for a permitted participant or other person charged with an offence under subsection (2) to show-
 
 
    (a) that any code of practice for the time being issued under paragraph 3 of Schedule 13 was complied with in determining the items and amounts of referendum expenses to be entered in the relevant return under section 120, and
 
    (b) that the limit would not have been exceeded on the basis of the items and amounts entered in that return.
      (4) Section 117(5) and (6) shall apply, for the purposes of this section, sections 120 to 123 and Schedule 14, in relation to an individual or body that has become a permitted participant as they apply for the purposes of section 117 in relation to an individual or body that is not a permitted participant.
 
      (5) For the purposes of this section and sections 120 to 123 and Schedule 14, any reference to referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of a permitted participant during the referendum period includes any referendum expenses so incurred at any time before the individual or body became a permitted participant.
 
 
Donations to permitted participants
Control of donations to permitted participants.     119. Schedule 15 has effect for controlling donations to permitted participants that either are not registered parties or are minor parties.
 
 
Returns
Returns as to referendum expenses.     120. - (1) Where-
 
 
    (a) any referendum expenses are incurred by or on behalf of a permitted participant during any referendum period (within the meaning of section 102), and
 
    (b) that period ends,
  the responsible person shall make a return under this section in respect of the referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the permitted participant during that period.
 
      (2) A return under this section must specify the referendum to which the expenditure relates and must contain-
 
 
    (a) a statement of all payments made in respect of referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the permitted participant during the referendum period in question;
 
    (b) a statement of all disputed claims (within the meaning of section 116);
 
    (c) a statement of all the unpaid claims (if any) of which the responsible person is aware in respect of which an application has been made, or is about to be made, to a court under section 115(4); and
 
    (d) in a case where the permitted participant either is not a registered party or is a minor party, a statement of relevant donations received in respect of the referendum which complies with the requirements of paragraphs 10 and 11 of Schedule 15.
      (3) A return under this section must be accompanied by-
 
 
    (a) all invoices or receipts relating to the payments mentioned in subsection (2)(a); and
 
    (b) in the case of any referendum expenses treated as incurred by virtue of section 112, any declaration falling to be made with respect to those expenses in accordance with section 112(6).
      (4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to any referendum expenses incurred at any time before the individual or body became a permitted participant, but the return must be accompanied by a declaration made by the responsible person of the total amount of such expenses incurred at any such time.
 
      (5) The Commission may by regulations prescribe a form of return which may be used for the purposes of this section.
 
      (6) In this section "relevant donation" has the same meaning as in Schedule 15.
 
Auditor's report on return.     121. - (1) Where during any referendum period the referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of a permitted participant exceed £250,000, a report must be prepared by a qualified auditor on the return prepared under section 120 in respect of those expenses.
 
      (2) The following provisions, namely-
 
 
    (a) section 43(6) and (7), and
 
    (b) section 44,
  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 43 or (as the case may be) an auditor so appointed.
 
Delivery of returns to Commission.     122. - (1) Where-
 
 
    (a) any return falls to be prepared under section 120 in respect of referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of a permitted participant, and
 
    (b) an auditor's report on it falls to be prepared under section 121(1),
  the responsible person 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 referendum period.
 
      (2) In the case of any other return falling to be prepared under section 120, the responsible person shall deliver the return to the Commission within three months of the end of the relevant referendum 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 115(4) for any claim to be paid, the responsible person 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 court order giving the leave.
 
      (4) The responsible person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he-
 
 
    (a) fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (1) or (2) in relation to a return under section 120;
 
    (b) delivers a return which does not comply with the requirements of section 120(2) or (3); or
 
    (c) fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (3) in relation to a return under that subsection.
Declaration of responsible person as to return under section 120.     123. - (1) Each return prepared under section 120 in respect of referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of a permitted participant must be accompanied by a declaration which complies with subsection (2) and is signed by the responsible person.
 
      (2) The declaration must state-
 
 
    (a) that the responsible person has examined the return in question;
 
    (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 person authorised by him.
      (3) The declaration must also state, in a case where the permitted participant either is not a registered party or is a minor party, that-
 
 
    (a) all relevant donations recorded in the return as having been accepted by the permitted participant are from permissible donors, and
 
    (b) no other relevant donations have been accepted by the permitted participant.
      (4) 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 the responsible person in the case of the permitted participant to which the return relates.
      (5) In this section "relevant donation" has the same meaning as in Schedule 15.
 
Public inspection of returns under section 120.     124. - (1) Where the Commission receive any return under section 120 they shall-
 
 
    (a) as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the return, make a copy of the return and of the documents accompanying it available for public inspection; and
 
    (b) keep any such copy available for public inspection for the period for which the return or other document is kept by them.
      (2) If the return contains a statement of relevant donations in accordance with section 120(2)(d), the Commission shall secure that the copy of the statement made available for public inspection does not include, in the case of any donation by an individual, the donor's address.
 
      (3) At the end of the period of two years beginning with the date when any return or other document mentioned in subsection (1) is received by the Commission-
 
 
    (a) they may cause the return or other document to be destroyed; but
 
    (b) if requested to do so by the responsible person in the case of the permitted participant concerned, they shall arrange for the return or other document to be returned to that person.
 
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Prepared 23 November 2000