Oversight of Election Campaign and Political Party Financing

Front page / Election campaign funding

Elec­tion cam­paign fun­ding

Elec­tion cam­paign fund­ing means the fund­ing raised to pay the ex­penses of a can­di­date’s elec­tion cam­paign in­curred no ear­lier than six months be­fore the elec­tion day and no later than two weeks af­ter the elec­tion day, ir­re­spec­tive of when such ex­penses are paid.

A candidate’s election funding may consist of

  • the candidate’s own funds and loans taken out by the candidate
  • campaign contributions received by the candidate, the candidate’s support group or other entity operating exclusively for the purpose of promoting the candidate
  • other campaign contributions.

The election funding disclosure must be submitted to the NAOF within two months of the confirmation of the election results.

Election funding oversight by the NAOF

The election funding oversight tasks of the NAOF are laid down in the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding. The NAOF oversees compliance with the disclosure obligation, which means that the agency

  • checks that all disclosers have submitted the disclosures required under the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding
  • publishes all funding disclosures that it has received without delay
  • after checking the funding disclosures, may urge a discloser to submit a new disclosure, to provide additional information to supplement the disclosure, or to provide information corroborating the accuracy and completeness of the disclosure.

The oversight task is a two-stage process. In the first stage, the NAOF receives and publishes the election funding disclosures and checks that all disclosers have submitted election funding disclosures. Under the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding, the NAOF only oversees the election campaign funding of the disclosers (elected candidates and alternate members). The task of the NAOF is to ensure that all disclosers submit the disclosures laid down in the law.

In the second stage of the oversight process, the NAOF checks that the election funding disclosures contain the right information and that there are no errors in the disclosures. Upon request, the discloser must provide the NAOF with supplementary information to enable the NAOF to verify the accuracy and completeness of the disclosure. When requested, the disclosers must provide supplementary information (in the form of campaign bank statements or other similar documents) so that the accuracy and completeness of the disclosures can be checked. The NAOF verifies the correctness of election campaign funding for example by checking the disclosures against the supplementary information provided to it.

A separate bank account for campaign-related transactions is recommended. The supplementary information submitted to the NAOF for the purposes of election funding oversight is kept secret under section 24(1)(15) of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999).

If the discloser fails to submit the election funding disclosure despite being requested to do so or if the funding disclosure is found to be inaccurate or incomplete in essential parts, the NAOF may require the discloser to submit the disclosure, correct the errors or provide the missing information on pain of a conditional fine. The conditional fine may thus only be imposed if the discloser has failed to submit the disclosure or the disclosure contains manifest inaccuracies or inadequacies that concern essential parts of the document. The discloser must also be requested to submit the disclosure before a conditional fine can be imposed. The conditional fine will be imposed by the Sanction and Penalty Board, which is a separate body.

The election funding oversight by the NAOF ends eight months after the confirmation of the election results. However, this time limit does not prevent the NAOF from completing any monitoring activities that were started before the expiration of the time limit. For every election, the NAOF submits Parliament a report on the election funding disclosures that it has received and on its activities in enforcing compliance with the disclosure obligation.

The election funding oversight tasks of the NAOF are laid down in the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding. The agency cannot provide any advice on matters pertaining to taxation and the Money Collection Act. Matters concerning the Money Collection Act fall within the purview of the Police, while taxation matters are the responsibility of the Finnish Tax Administration.

The NAOF has been responsible for the oversight of election campaign funding since 1 May 2009 and for the oversight of political party funding since 1 September 2010. Before that, the election funding disclosures for municipal elections were submitted to the central election committees of individual municipalities and for other elections to the Ministry of Justice. For more information about the election result and information services, political parties, and the registration of a political party, as well as general elections and the manner in which they are carried out, please visit the election website of the Ministry of Justice.

Additional information:

Reports on the oversight of election campaign funding (VTV.fi)

Election website of the Ministry of Justice

Publiced: 12.8.2010  Updated: 4.2.2021