Tue | Oct 20, 2020

Did you know? | Campaign Finance Fund for Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | May 17, 2016 | 12:00 AM
A section of the crowd that attended a Jamaica Labour Party mass meeting in Half-Way Tree earlier this year.
PNP supporters enjoying themselves during a campaign rally earlier this year.

The Campaign Finance Act, passed in Parliament ahead of the last general election in February, proposes the establishment of a National Campaign Fund. This proposal was made by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) and approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The act said that money in this fund shall be held and applied for the purpose of:

(a) accepting and receiving contributions from:

(i) individuals;

(ii) companies and other entities;

(iii) Jamaican diaspora groups;

(b)making contributions to candidates and registered political parties; and

(c) promoting the active

participation of citizens in the electoral process.

• Subject to the directions of the commission, the director shall be responsible for the management and administration of the fund.

• Moneys in the fund that are not immediately required for its purposes may be invested by the commission as it thinks fit.

• All moneys forming part of the fund shall,

pending the investment or application thereof in accordance with the regulations, be paid or transferred into a bank in Jamaica.

• The fund shall consist of:

(a) moneys contributed to it by:

(i) individuals;

(ii) companies and other entities;

(iii) Jamaican diaspora groups;

(b) interest and profits accruing from the investment of the moneys.

• The director shall cause proper accounts of the fund to be kept and shall prepare annually a statement of accounts in a form satisfactory to the commission and conforming to generally accepted accounting principles in Jamaica.

• The accounts of the fund shall be audited annually by an auditor appointed by the commission.

• The auditor general shall be entitled at all times to examine the accounts of the fund.

• The moneys in the fund shall be disbursed to candidates within 180 after an election is held, for the purposes of reimbursing expenses incurred by the candidates in their election campaigns.

• The total amount to be disbursed to a candidate shall be determined by applying the following formula - A, B and C, where:

- A is the number of votes cast for that candidate in the election;

- B is the total number of votes cast for all candidates in that constituency in the election;

- C is the total amount allocated from the fund to that constituency for the election, such allocation being on the basis that each constituency shall be allocated an equal amount.

• No moneys shall be disbursed to a candidate from the fund unless:

(a) the political ombudsman certifies that the candidate is in compliance with the Political Code of Conduct for elections; and

(b) the candidate has complied with his obligations under this part and Section 60 to the satisfaction of the commission.