SIPO Report on Political Parties' Statements of Accounts 2015

lostexpectation

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the Standards in Public Office Commission has for the first time made a report based on requested audited statements of accounts from all registered political parties Press Release - Report on Political Parties' Statements of Accounts 2015 - Standards in Public Office Commission

under the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2012/act/36/enacted/en/print.html
Political Party Account Guidelines - Standards in Public Office Commission

the report
2015 Political Parties' Statements of Accounts - Standards in Public Office Commission

the docs http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts.pdf http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Statements-of-Accounts.pdf



Many small irish political parties non-compliant with SIPO requirements, they did not provide audited accounts
Accounts furnished by political parties - Standards in Public Office Commission
Table 1 – Compliance of registered political parties.
Political Party registered pre 2015 in receipt of State fundingCompliant status
Fianna FáilFully compliant
Fine GaelFully compliant
Sinn FeinFully compliant
The Labour PartyFully compliant
Political Party registered pre 2015 not in receipt of State funding
Green PartyFully compliant
Fis NuaFully compliant
Kerry Independence AllianceFully compliant
Workers and Unemployed Action GroupFully compliant
AAA (1Jan – 31 Aug 2015) (note: party ceased to exist in 2015)Queries outstanding
PBPA (1 Jan – 31 Aug 2015) (note: party ceased to exist in 2015)Queries outstanding
Catholic DemocratsNot compliant
Communist Party of IrelandNot compliant
Direct Democracy IrelandNot compliant
Independents 4 ChangeNot compliant
Irish Democratic PartyNot compliant
United LeftNot compliant
The Workers PartyNot compliant
Socialist PartyPartly compliant
Political Party registered in 2015 not in receipt of State funding
RenuaFully compliant
Social DemocratsFully compliant
AAA/PBPAQueries outstanding
United PeopleNot compliant


Standards in Public Office Commission say audit requirements for small political parties is excessive/unduly burdensome.

Recommendations - Standards in Public Office Commission
This report marks the first time that political parties have been required to furnish statements of accounts to the Commission. Inevitably, issues have arisen that may not have been anticipated when the legislation was being drafted.
A number of parties are noted in this report as non-compliant with the requirements of the Act and the Guidelines. However, the requirement on all registered political parties to furnish statements of accounts and to have them audited by a public auditor, regardless of the size of the party or the extent of its income and expenditure is, in the Commission’s view, excessive.
A number of the smaller parties subject to the Act’s obligations reported no income during 2015, while others reported insufficient funds available to have accounts audited. These political parties do not receive any funding from the Exchequer. Given these circumstances, several parties noted that they are aggrieved that the Commission must now report their non- compliance with what they view as overly burdensome provisions of the legislation.
The Commission agrees that the requirements of the Act are unduly burdensome in these circumstances. The Commission is of the view that placing the same onerous obligations on parties with very little income and expenditure, and that are not in receipt of moneys from the State, is unreasonable.
The Commission recommends, therefore, that the legislation be reviewed with a view to exempting smaller parties, especially those that receive no funding from the Exchequer under either the electoral or party activities allowance legislation, from the requirement to furnish audited statements of accounts to the Commission. The Commission agrees that the requirement to furnish statements should remain, but that it is unnecessary in these circumstances for the statements to be audited.
The Commission further notes that the requirements of other legislation to produce statements are not always consistent with one another. It would be useful to reconcile the reporting requirements of all legislation that provide for state funding of political parties for administrative ease and legislative coherence.
and decided not to order audits of the small parties that did not submit them themselves http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Accounts-furnished-by-political-parties.html

how much would an audit cost?

Socdems auditor cost 2k http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Statements-of-Accounts.pdf p233
 
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lostexpectation

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things I notice as I read the 290 pages of statements http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Statements-of-Accounts.pdf

AAA seemed to have spent a lot on "fundraising tshirts" 5K! see page 10


Fianna Fail
The Party’s debt at 31st December 2015 stood at €1,509,093 owing primarily to funding
provided for the Local and European elections in 2014 and expenditure on increasing the
Party’s activities and staffing levels in the lead-in to General Election 2016
page 47
The four
pillars of the fundraising model comprise, the National Superdraw, the National Collection,
party membership and party events across the country. In 2015, the Party raised €989,881
nationally while there was significantly increased fundraising occurring locally with candidates
and party units.
In terms of state funding, the Party received €1,167,856 in funding under the Electoral Acts,
€1,538,415 under the Parliamentary Leaders Allowance and, finally, a staffing allocation from
3
the Houses of the Oireachtas with a total value of €1,276,000 in 2015. None of these funds
are permitted to be used for elections or referenda, which can only be funded by income
generated through Party fundraising income streams.
87k on referendum

nearly €4 million given to Fianna Fail in 2015 by state to (re) fund party, TDs and staff page 47


Fine Gael said it spent 7 million in 2015 page 85

6 million in state funding given to Fine Gael in 2015 by state to (re) fund party, TDs and staff pg 95

FG raised 850 gross from national draw

they spent 720k on "research"

121k on referendum campaign

195k on website and new media

FG has 1m on account, with a 161k loan

general secretary salary 141k

would it be possible to estimate membership from the amount they collected pg 99


PBP accounts start page 174

105k in state funding
very little fundraising


SP pg 258
350k State funding
70k membership fees
am I reading those figures right
6 staff


Renua
Short Term Loans - Due within one year 28,500
Long Term Loans - Due between one and seven years 41,000

a few thousands due other people inlcuding McKee and Timmins

'appointed resigned appointed resigned apppointed resigned apppointed resigned' http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Statements-of-Accounts.pdf pg 187


Socdems
the had a loan of 16k
The Sunday Independent understands that former Limerick Senator James Heffernan also made a significant personal contribution of €16,000 to the party.
http://campus.ie/surviving-college/construction-millionaire-funds-social-democrats
30k in bank
Stephen Donnelly was owed 8k at the end of 2015


Labour

3.6m in state funding
subs 167k
has 3.5m in bank?
426k on professional services
88k on referendum
500 on campaign and elections costs
300k mortgage loan?


Sinn Fein

2.3m state funding
68 subs
180k fundraising
has 54 staff
25k on referendum
54k on 1916
1.4m in bank
wrote off 66k from Parnell Publications as not recoverable
owed 75k by republican merchandising


Green Party page 239

income 68k
outgoing 33k
previous surplus 17k
deficit 16k

subs 11k
donations 33k
fundraising 25k gross

44k on premises

no employees
 
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Mick Mac

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things I notice as I read the 290 pages of statements

AAA seemed to have spent a lot on "fundraising tshirts" 5K! see page 10
2006: Building houses to house the people building houses
2016: Fundraising for Tshirts for the people fundraising in tshirts.

Ireland is moving to a more cost sustainable approach.

Mick
 

lostexpectation

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lostexpectation

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KingKane

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things I notice as I read the 290 pages of statements http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Statements-of-Accounts.pdf

AAA seemed to have spent a lot on "fundraising tshirts" 5K! see page 10


Fianna Fail
page 47


nearly €4 million given to Fianna Fail in 2015 by state to (re) fund elections, TDs and staff page 47


Fine Gael said it spent 7 million in 2015 page 85

6 million in state funding given to Fine Gael in 2015 by state to (re) fund elections, TDs and staff pg 95
There is no state funding for election campaigns for any party.
 

brughahaha

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Does seem onerous on smaller parties ...possibly needs an income threshold for an audit .....but including all income and possibly a spending threshold too , on not just state income to stop secret funding by vested interests
 

KingKane

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sorry thought those numbers included election expenses refunds
As it happens those refunds are issued to the candidates directly based on their SIPO returns being in order and their performance in the election, most parties expect the candidates to pass it back to the party if the party actually paid the bills from local party funds.
 

lostexpectation

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there seems to be little consequence to not even furnishing a statement let alone audited accounts.

see section 88 Review by Commission. Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012, Section 42
Provisions relating to Compliance


Provisions relating to Compliance - Standards in Public Office Commission
5.4 Consequence of non-compliance
In instances where the appropriate officer fails to furnish audited accounts within the statutory timescale, the Commission must -
· notify the Chairman of Dáil Éireann and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and
· publish details of the non-compliance on its website.
The legislation provides that no payments, under section 19 or the Act, shall be made in any year unless and until -
· an annual statement of accounts and a copy of the related auditor’s report is furnished in accordance with section 87 of the Act to the Commission, and
· the Commission has notified the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform that it is satisfied that the accounts comply with the Act and its guidelines issued under the Act.
when candidates are late with election expenses declarations SIPO usually gives the candidate extra time and then refers them to the gardai, doesn't look like they have the power to do that re accounts.
 
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