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Less than half of political parties accounting units have made their donation returns

The Commission plans to name and shame the political party accounting units that fail to submit their return on time.

THE DEADLINE FOR accounting units of political parties to submit their statutory returns to the Standards in Public Office Commission is the end of this week, but as of today, just 50 of the 170 accounting units have submitted returns.

An accounting unit, in relation to a political party, means a branch which has received a donation exceeding €100.

On receipt of a monetary donation exceeding this value, the accounting unit must open and maintain an account in an institution in the State and must lodge the donation and all further monetary donations, of whatever value, to the account.

Under legislation a statement from the financial institution specifying the transactions that have taken place in relation to the account in the previous calendar year should be submitted no later than 31 March each year to the Standards Commission.

Political Donations

The treasurer or person responsible with dealing with donations must also complete a Certificate of Monetary Donations, stating that all monetary donations received during the year were lodged to the account and that all amounts debited from the account were used for political purposes and it is an offence not to do so by the deadline.

The Standards Commission said that it continues to experience difficulties in supervising the provisions of the legislation relating to accounting units.

The Standards Commission said it is reminding all political party headquarters about their obligations under the Electoral Act and those who are in breach of the deadline, will be referred to the gardaí for investigation.

The Commission plans to name and shame those political party accounting units that fail to submit their return.

Read: One person received 70 per cent of all big political donations last year>

Read: Ex-Fine Gael minister and former judge to be appointed to political standards watchdog>

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