Our role as regulator
As the regulator of party and election finance one of our core objectives is to ensure high levels of compliance with the controls and requirements set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA).
In conducting our enforcement we are:
- aware that many of those responsible for compliance with the law are volunteers
Wherever possible, we use advice and guidance to secure compliance with the law.
Where non-compliance occurs, the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 (PPE Act) provides us with investigative powers and a range of flexible sanctions we can impose for most breaches of PPERA.
These powers came into effect on 1 December 2010. Before this we were unable to impose sanctions for most offences in PPERA, and our options were to address non-compliance through advice and guidance or refer matters to the police or prosecutors for possible criminal prosecution.
We also play a role in ensuring that candidates and agents comply with the controls on expenditure incurred at elections under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA 1983). However, our powers and sanctions under the PPE Act do not apply to these controls.
In the run-up to major elections and referendums we carry out a targeted programme of campaign monitoring. We do this as part of our work to help ensure compliance with the rules on spending and donations.
To find out what we did for the last set of polls, please read our briefing note.
How we deal with allegations
Anyone can make an allegation to us about potential breaches of PPERA, but please read our guidance on how we deal with allegations, which explains some limitations on what we can consider.
Information about cases
We publish information about recently closed cases on the second Thursday of each month, including the potential breach we considered, our finding, and any action taken.
- Our sanctions
- Our Enforcement policy - English (PDF) | Polisi gorfodi - Cymraeg (PDF)
This is a statutory document that sets out in detail our powers and sanctions and how we use them.
- Our Enforcement casework disclosure policy (PDF) | Ein polisi datgelu – Cymraeg (PDF)
- Our guidance for political parties and others we regulate
- If you would like to see the information on the public consultation we carried out on our enforcement policy, including the responses that we were not asked to keep confidential, please contact us using the number below.
Legislation and case law underpinning our enforcement work
- Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) (opens in new window)
- Electoral Administration Act 2006 (EAA) (opens in new window)
- Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 (PPE Act) (opens in new window)
- Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA 1983) (opens in new window)
There has also been one supreme court decision relating to the legislation we regulate. You can read the full decision or a summary below.
For more information please contact the Party and Election Finance helpline on 020 7271 0616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.