Section 71L Offences relating to regulated transactions
340.Section 71L provides a range of criminal offences to provide sanctions to enforce the permissibility requirements. The offences provide for criminal liability both on the part of the political party and on the part of the party’s registered treasurer.
341.Subsections (1) and (2) deal with the case where a regulated transaction has been entered into with an unauthorised participant. An offence will not be committed unless the relevant person knew or ought reasonably to have known that the party had entered into a regulated transaction with an unauthorised participant.
342.Where a party has entered into a transaction innocently, subsections (3) and (4) make it an offence if the party’s treasurer does not take all reasonable steps to repay the money as soon as practicable after he becomes aware that the transaction involved an unauthorised participant.
343.Similar offences are included in subsections (5) to (8) in relation to guarantees and securities.
344.The offence in subsection (9) covers the situation where a person knowingly enters into or knowingly furthers an arrangement facilitating a regulated transaction between a political party and an unauthorised participant. (For example, if a lender lied to a political party by falsely claiming to be an authorised participant.)
345.In the case of the offence under subsection (2) (which concerns criminal liability of the part of the party treasurer, where a party has entered into a regulated transaction with an unauthorised participant), it is by subsection (10) a defence for a party treasurer to prove that he took all reasonable steps to prevent the registered party entering into the transaction. The same defence is provided by subsection (11) in respect of the offence in subsection (6) (concerning the giving by unauthorised participants of guarantees or securities).