Clause 24 (Functions of the Electoral Commission)

Functions of the Commission

24.—(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make such provision as to the functions of the Commission as the Secretary of State considers necessary or desirable for the purposes of giving effect to this Act.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) may include provision which, in particular—

(a)     enables the Commission to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the maximum amount of relevant benefits from any person which is for the time in force under section 3 is not exceeded;

(b)     facilitates the carrying out of the Commission’s functions under sections 7 and 8 in connection with affiliation fees paid by a membership organisation;

(c)     enables the Commission to take such steps as are necessary to ensure compliance with such limits on expenditure (of whatever description) as are imposed by virtue of this Act.

(3) No regulations are to be made under subsection (1) unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.

 

Explanatory Note
Clause 24 provides for the Secretary of State to confer additional functions on the Electoral Commission such as are necessary for them to give effect to the Bill. This can be exercised to make provision, in particular, for the Commission to carry out their duties in relation to monitoring compliance with the donations cap, with eligibility to make affiliation fees, and with new rules on third party campaign expenditure. As part of this enforcement machinery, the regulations could also provide for the Electoral Commission to consider if one third party campaigning organisation was effectively the same as another, by judging their objectives, to prevent multiple, similar organisations being set up in order to obviate the spending limits.

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