Compliance Audits

Under the Election Act, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, and Recall and Initiative Act, the Chief Electoral Officer must periodically audit the financial affairs and accounts of individuals and organizations that participate in elections or petitions. These audits help political participants strengthen internal financial processes and support compliance with campaign finance rules.

Our Audit Process

We notify individuals and organizations being audited in writing. This notification advises the subject of the timing, objective and scope of the audit.

The Chief Electoral Officer has the authority to appoint representatives to conduct financial audits and to request or review records of a political entity.

On completion of an audit, the political entity:

  • may receive recommendations on how to improve internal processes and enhance compliance,
  • may be required to file a supplementary financing report to correct reporting deficiencies, and/or
  • if non-compliance is identified, may be subject to further investigation and possible penalties depending on the nature of the non-compliance.

What is the difference between a review and an audit?

To enhance transparency and fairness in campaign financing, Elections BC conducts an initial assessment of every financial report filed to determine the extent to which a report is reviewed or audited.

During a review, we examine the financial report in detail to identify and resolve incomplete reporting requirements and potential non-compliance, and ensure all transactions are reported accurately and correctly.

An audit involves a more in-depth analysis of the financial report, including reviewing supporting documentation and conducting interviews with political participants to gain a better understanding of their processes and controls to safeguard compliance.  

How does Elections BC select who to audit?

Elections BC can select audits by different methods: 

  • randomly,
  • based on financial activity reported, or
  • based on potential risk of non-compliance.

Factors that may increase the likelihood of being selected for an audit include spending close to the expense limit, reporting prohibited contributions, if a candidate was elected, the closeness of an election, prior cases of non-compliance with legislation, findings from a previous audit, and filing a financial report late.

While not all files may be audited, all non-compliance that is identified by Elections BC will be addressed through a review, an audit, or investigation.

Does Elections BC disclose who is being audited?

A list of financial reports that have been selected for audit is available here:

Elections BC does not usually comment on ongoing audits. This is to protect the individuals involved from undue harm and to protect the integrity of the audit.

If an audit results in an administrative monetary penalty or other enforcement action, we will publish information about the penalty on our website. Information about the outcome of other audits may be made public at the discretion of the Chief Electoral Officer. We will not provide details that could unduly compromise an individual’s privacy or compromise the integrity of the electoral process.

How long does it take to conduct an audit?

The time it takes to conduct an audit varies depending on a number of factors, including:

  • the complexity of the records being examined,
  • the scope of the audit, and
  • availability Elections BC staff or other appointed representatives.