The Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding (273/2009) entered into force on 1 May 2009. The Act lays down provisions on candidate’s election funding and its disclosure in parliamentary elections, presidential elections, municipal elections and European Parliamentary elections. The Act was amended in 2010 and 2015.
The amendments to the Act on Political Parties (10/1969) concerning the funding of political parties entered into force on 1 September 2010 (minor amendments also 2015).
What does election funding mean?
According to the Act, election funding means the funding raised to cover the costs of the candidate’s election campaign incurred over a period starting no earlier than six months before the election day and ending no later than two weeks after the election day irrespective of when such costs are paid.
The candidate's election funding may consist of 1) the candidate’s own funds and any loans taken out by the candidate for the campaign, 2) campaign contributions received by the candidate, his or her support group or other entityoperating exclusively for the purpose of promoting the candidate and 3) other campaign contributions.
Who needs to file a election funding disclosure?
An election funding disclosure is to be filed by:
1) those elected Members of Parliament in Parliamentary elections and those appointed Deputy Members when the election results are confirmed,
2) those elected Members of the European Parliament and those appointed Deputy Members when the election results are confirmed,
3) parties which have nominated candidates in Presidential elections or representatives of constituency associations or their substitutes and
4) a council member and an alternate member elected in municipal elections.
To which authority are the election funding disclosures sent?
The election funding disclosure must be filed with the National Audit Office of Finland within two months of the confirmation of the election results. Filing of the disclosure can be done by using the form approved by the National Audit Office. More information: www.vaalirahoitusvalvonta.fi.
Compliance with the disclosure obligation is to be overseen by the National Audit Office of Finland.
Voters should have access to information on candidates’ election funding already when making their voting decisions. Each candidate can, for their part, increase the transparency of election funding by filing an advance disclosure of their election campaign funding. The advance disclosure contains a plan for the candidate’s election funding and an estimate of the costs of their election campaign.
A candidate or, in presidential elections, a political party or a constituency association may submit a voluntary advance disclosure to the National Audit Office of Finland once the constituency electoral committees have drawn up the master list of candidates or the list of presidential candidates, 31 days before the elections at the earliest. The advance disclosure shall be submitted online or using a form approved by the National Audit Office of Finland. For more information, please see www.vaalirahoitusvalvonta.fi.
Where are the election funding disclosures and advance disclosures available?
The National Audit Office of Finland keeps a register containing the information in the election funding disclosures and advance disclosures. The register is available at www.vaalirahoitusvalvonta.fi.