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Political Parties and Elections Bill


Political Parties and Elections Bill
Schedule 2 — Civil sanctions: Schedule to be inserted into the 2000 Act

54

 

(a)   

triable summarily only, and

(b)   

punishable on summary conviction by a fine (whether or

not it is also punishable by a term of imprisonment),

           

the amount of the penalty may not exceed the maximum amount

of that fine.

5

Representations and appeals etc

6     (1)  

Where the Commission propose to impose a discretionary

requirement on a person, they shall serve on the person a notice of

what is proposed.

      (2)  

A person served with a notice under sub-paragraph (1) may make

10

written representations and objections to the Commission in

relation to the proposed imposition of the discretionary

requirement.

      (3)  

After the end of the period for making such representations and

objections (see paragraph 7(2)) the Commission shall decide

15

whether—

(a)   

to impose the discretionary requirement, with or without

modifications, or

(b)   

to impose any other discretionary requirement that the

Commission have power to impose under paragraph 5.

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      (4)  

The Commission may not impose a discretionary requirement on

a person—

(a)   

if, taking into account (in particular) any matter raised by

the person, the Commission are no longer satisfied as

mentioned in paragraph 5(1), (2), (3) or (4) (as applicable);

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(b)   

in such other circumstances as may be prescribed.

      (5)  

Where the Commission decide to impose a discretionary

requirement on a person, they shall serve on the person a notice

specifying what the requirement is.

      (6)  

A person on whom a discretionary requirement is imposed may

30

appeal against the decision to impose the requirement on the

ground—

(a)   

that the decision was based on an error of fact,

(b)   

that the decision was wrong in law,

(c)   

in the case of a variable monetary penalty, that the amount

35

of the penalty is unreasonable,

(d)   

in the case of a non-monetary discretionary requirement,

that the nature of the requirement is unreasonable, or

(e)   

that the decision is unreasonable for any other reason,

           

or on such other grounds as may be prescribed.

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      (7)  

An appeal under sub-paragraph (6) is to a county court or (in

Scotland) the sheriff.

Information to be included in notices under paragraph 6

7     (1)  

A notice under paragraph 6(1) must include information as to—

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Schedule 2 — Civil sanctions: Schedule to be inserted into the 2000 Act

55

 

(a)   

the grounds for the proposal to impose the discretionary

requirement;

(b)   

the right to make representations and objections;

(c)   

the circumstances in which the Commission may not

impose the discretionary requirement.

5

      (2)  

Such a notice must also specify the period within which

representations and objections may be made.

           

That period may not be less than 28 days beginning with the day

on which the notice is received.

      (3)  

A notice under paragraph 6(5) must include information as to—

10

(a)   

the grounds for imposing the discretionary requirement;

(b)   

where the discretionary requirement is a variable

monetary penalty—

(i)   

how payment may be made,

(ii)   

the period within which payment must be made,

15

and

(iii)   

any early payment discounts or late payment

penalties;

(c)   

rights of appeal;

(d)   

the consequences of non-compliance.

20

Discretionary requirements: criminal conviction

8     (1)  

A person on whom a discretionary requirement is imposed may

not at any time be convicted of an offence under this Act in respect

of the act or omission giving rise to the requirement.

      (2)  

Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply where—

25

(a)   

a non-monetary discretionary requirement is imposed on

the person,

(b)   

no variable monetary penalty is imposed on the person,

and

(c)   

the person fails to comply with the non-monetary

30

discretionary requirement.

Failure to comply with discretionary requirements

9     (1)  

The Commission may by notice impose a monetary penalty (a

“non-compliance penalty”) on a person for failing to comply with

a non-monetary discretionary requirement imposed on the

35

person.

      (2)  

Subject to any prescribed criteria, or any prescribed maximum or

minimum amounts, the amount of a non-compliance penalty is to

be such as the Commission may determine.

      (3)  

A person served with a notice imposing a non-compliance penalty

40

may appeal against the notice on the ground that the decision to

serve the notice—

(a)   

was based on an error of fact,

(b)   

was wrong in law, or

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Schedule 2 — Civil sanctions: Schedule to be inserted into the 2000 Act

56

 

(c)   

was unfair or unreasonable for any reason (for example

because the amount is unreasonable),

           

or on such other grounds as may be prescribed.

      (4)  

An appeal under sub-paragraph (3) is to a county court or (in

Scotland) the sheriff.

5

Part 3

Stop notices

Imposition of stop notices

10    (1)  

Where sub-paragraph (2) or (3) applies, the Commission may

serve on a person a notice (a “stop notice”) prohibiting the person

10

from carrying on an activity specified in the notice until the person

has taken the steps specified in the notice.

      (2)  

This sub-paragraph applies where—

(a)   

the person is carrying on the activity,

(b)   

the Commission reasonably believe that the activity as

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carried on by the person involves or is likely to involve the

person—

(i)   

committing a prescribed offence under this Act, or

(ii)   

contravening (otherwise than by committing an

offence under this Act) a prescribed restriction or

20

requirement imposed by or by virtue of this Act,

   

and

(c)   

the Commission reasonably believe that the activity as

carried on by the person is seriously damaging public

confidence in the effectiveness of the controls in this Act on

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the income and expenditure of registered parties and

others, or presents a significant risk of doing so.

      (3)  

This sub-paragraph applies where—

(a)   

the person is likely to carry on the activity,

(b)   

the Commission reasonably believe that the activity as

30

carried on by the person will involve or will be likely to

involve the person—

(i)   

committing a prescribed offence under this Act, or

(ii)   

contravening (otherwise than by committing an

offence under this Act) a prescribed restriction or

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requirement imposed by or by virtue of this Act,

   

and

(c)   

the Commission reasonably believe that the activity as

likely to be carried on by the person will seriously damage

public confidence in the effectiveness of the controls

40

mentioned in sub-paragraph (2)(c), or will present a

significant risk of doing so.

      (4)  

The steps referred to in sub-paragraph (1) must be steps to secure

that the activity is carried on or (as the case may be) will be carried

on in a way that does not involve the person acting as mentioned

45

in sub-paragraph (2)(b) or (3)(b).

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Schedule 2 — Civil sanctions: Schedule to be inserted into the 2000 Act

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Information to be included in stop notices

11         

A stop notice must include information as to—

(a)   

the grounds for serving the notice;

(b)   

rights of appeal;

(c)   

the consequences of not complying with the notice.

5

Completion certificates

12    (1)  

Where, after the service of a stop notice on a person, the

Commission are satisfied that the person has taken the steps

specified in the notice, they shall issue a certificate to that effect (a

“completion certificate”).

10

      (2)  

A stop notice ceases to have effect on the issue of a completion

certificate relating to that notice.

      (3)  

A person on whom a stop notice is served may at any time apply

for a completion certificate.

           

The Commission shall make a decision whether to issue a

15

completion certificate within 14 days of the day on which they

receive such an application.

Appeals etc

13    (1)  

A person served with a stop notice may appeal against the

decision to serve it on the ground that—

20

(a)   

the decision was based on an error of fact,

(b)   

the decision was wrong in law,

(c)   

the decision was unreasonable,

(d)   

any step specified in the notice is unreasonable, or

(e)   

the person has not acted as mentioned in paragraph

25

10(2)(b) or (3)(b) and would not have done so even if the

stop notice had not been served,

           

or on such other grounds as may be prescribed.

      (2)  

A person served with a stop notice may appeal against a decision

not to issue a completion certificate on the ground that the

30

decision—

(a)   

was based on an error of fact,

(b)   

was wrong in law, or

(c)   

was unfair or unreasonable,

           

or an such other grounds as may be prescribed.

35

      (3)  

An appeal under sub-paragraph (1) or (2) is to a county court or (in

Scotland) the sheriff.

Failure to comply with stop notice

14         

A person served with a stop notice who does not comply with it is

guilty of an offence.

40

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Schedule 2 — Civil sanctions: Schedule to be inserted into the 2000 Act

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Part 4

Enforcement undertakings

15    (1)  

This paragraph applies where—

(a)   

the Commission have reasonable grounds to suspect that a

person—

5

(i)   

has committed a prescribed offence under this Act,

or

(ii)   

has (otherwise than by committing an offence

under this Act) contravened a prescribed

restriction or requirement imposed by or by virtue

10

of this Act,

(b)   

the person offers an undertaking (an “enforcement

undertaking”) to take such action, within such period, as is

specified in the undertaking,

(c)   

the action so specified is—

15

(i)   

action to secure that the offence or contravention

does not continue or recur,

(ii)   

action to secure that the position is, so far as

possible, restored to what it would have been if the

offence or contravention had not happened, or

20

(iii)   

action of a prescribed description,

   

and

(d)   

the Commission accept the undertaking.

      (2)  

Unless the person has failed to comply with the undertaking or

any part of it—

25

(a)   

the person may not at any time be convicted of an offence

under this Act in respect of the act or omission to which the

undertaking relates;

(b)   

the Commission may not impose on the person any fixed

monetary penalty that they would otherwise have power

30

to impose by virtue of paragraph 1 in respect of that act or

omission;

(c)   

the Commission may not impose on the person any

discretionary requirement that they would otherwise have

power to impose by virtue of paragraph 5 in respect of that

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act or omission.

Part 5

Power to make supplementary provision etc by order

Supplementary orders: general

16    (1)  

The Secretary of State may by order (a “supplementary order”)—

40

(a)   

make provision (including transitional provision)

supplementing that made by this Schedule;

(b)   

make provision that is consequential on or incidental to

that made by this Schedule.

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Schedule 2 — Civil sanctions: Schedule to be inserted into the 2000 Act

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      (2)  

The following provisions of this Part are not to be read as limiting

the power conferred by sub-paragraph (1).

      (3)  

A supplementary order may make provision amending, repealing

or revoking an enactment (whenever passed or made).

Consultation

5

17    (1)  

Before making a supplementary order the Secretary of State shall

consult the Commission and such other persons (if any) as the

Secretary of State considers appropriate.

      (2)  

If, as a result of any consultation required by sub-paragraph (1), it

appears to the Secretary of State that it is appropriate substantially

10

to change the whole or any part of the proposals, the Secretary of

State shall undertake such further consultation with respect to the

changes as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

      (3)  

If, before the day on which this Schedule comes into effect, any

consultation was undertaken which, had it been undertaken after

15

that day, would to any extent have satisfied the requirements of

this paragraph, those requirements may to that extent be taken to

have been satisfied.

Monetary penalties

18    (1)  

A supplementary order may make any of the following provision

20

in relation to the power of the Commission to require a person to

pay a fixed monetary penalty, a variable monetary penalty or a

non-compliance penalty—

(a)   

provision for early payment discounts;

(b)   

provision for the payment of interest or other financial

25

penalties for late payment;

(c)   

provision for enforcement.

      (2)  

Provision made by virtue of sub-paragraph (1)(b) must secure that

the interest or other financial penalties for late payment do not in

total exceed the amount of the penalty itself.

30

      (3)  

Provision made by virtue of sub-paragraph (1)(c) may include—

(a)   

provision for the Commission to recover the penalty, and

any interest or other financial penalty for late payment, as

a civil debt;

(b)   

provision for the penalty, and any interest or other

35

financial penalty for late payment, to be recoverable, on

the order of a court, as if payable under a court order.

      (4)  

In relation to the power of the Commission to require a person to

pay a fixed monetary penalty, a variable monetary penalty or a

non-compliance penalty for failing to comply with a requirement

40

or undertaking by the end of a particular period, a supplementary

order may—

(a)   

make provision under which the amount of the penalty is

determined by reference to the length of time between the

end of that period and the time of compliance;

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Political Parties and Elections Bill
Schedule 2 — Civil sanctions: Schedule to be inserted into the 2000 Act

60

 

(b)   

make provision for successive penalties to be payable in a

case of continued failure to comply.

Enforcement undertakings

19         

A supplementary order may make any of the following provision

in relation to an enforcement undertaking—

5

(a)   

provision as to the procedure for entering into an

undertaking;

(b)   

provision as to the terms of an undertaking;

(c)   

provision as to publication of an undertaking by the

Commission;

10

(d)   

provision as to variation of an undertaking;

(e)   

provision as to circumstances in which a person may be

regarded as having complied with an undertaking;

(f)   

provision as to monitoring by the Commission of

compliance with an undertaking;

15

(g)   

provision as to certification by the Commission that an

undertaking has been complied with;

(h)   

provision for appeals against refusal to give such

certification;

(i)   

in a case where a person has given inaccurate, misleading

20

or incomplete information in relation to an undertaking,

provision for the person to be regarded as not having

complied with it;

(j)   

in a case where a person has complied partly but not fully

with an undertaking, provision for that part-compliance to

25

be taken into account in the imposition of any criminal or

other sanction on the person.

Extension of time for taking criminal proceedings

20         

For the purposes of enabling criminal proceedings to be instituted

against a person in respect of an offence under this Act—

30

(a)   

in the case referred to in paragraph 8(2), or

(b)   

in a case where there has been a breach of an enforcement

undertaking or any part of an enforcement undertaking,

           

a supplementary order may make provision extending any period

within which such proceedings may be instituted.

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Appeals

21    (1)  

A supplementary order may make any of the following provision

in relation to an appeal in respect of the imposition of a

requirement, or the service of a notice, under this Schedule—

(a)   

provision suspending the requirement or notice pending

40

determination of the appeal;

(b)   

provision as to the powers of the court to which the appeal

is made;

(c)   

provision as to how a sum payable in pursuance of a

decision of that court is to be recoverable.

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