The NT Electoral Act (Part 10) outlines financial disclosure provisions relating to donations, electoral expenditure and reporting that are incumbent on candidates, registered political parties, associated entities, publishers and broadcasters. Section 215 of the Act contains penalties for offences against disclosure provisions and failure to comply with legal requirements. The NT Electoral Commission (NTEC) may pursue these provisions through the Courts where other reasonable avenues to resolve matters are exhausted.
The offences (including the legislative reference) include:
- Failure to lodge a disclosure return by the due date [s215(1)]
- Lodging an incomplete disclosure return [s215(2)(a)]
- Failure to retain records for 4 years from polling day or from the last day for lodging a return relating to that record [s215(2)](b)]
- Including false or misleading information in a disclosure return [s215(3)]
- Providing false or misleading information to another person for inclusion in a disclosure return [s215(4)]
- Failure to comply with a notice authorising a NT Electoral Commission investigation [s218]
- Contravening an investigation notice without a reasonable excuse [s218(1)], and
- Knowingly providing false or misleading information during a NT Electoral Commission investigation [s218(2)].
The penalty for each of these offences is:
- Natural person: 200 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment, and
- Body corporate: 1000 penalty units.