Candidates required to audit asset declarations: Elections Commission

Candidates required to audit asset declarations: Elections Commission

Elections Commission (EC) on Monday, mandated that future candidates running for public office must conduct an external audit of asset declarations, extending to all campaign or campaign-related finances.

As per the Elections General Act, candidates are required to provide financial reports of expenditures and donations to the EC. Previously, the task to validate the report fell on the Commission itself.

However, under the new amendment, candidates are required to verify their assets through a registered auditor to deem lawful proceedings.

Auditors are to ensure that every candidate utilizes a bank account under their ownership in a Maldivian bank, confirm that all contributions were deposited into the same account and was received by either the candidate or by their official elections agent.

Moreover, auditors must confirm that the finances were directly spent by the candidate or their agent, while also ensuring that expenditures meet the expense limits set out by the Commission.

Contestants must present a true account of any transactions, including receipts, invoices, bills and other documents pertaining to any expenditure borne by the campaign.

EC warned auditors that punitive action will be sought by the Commission, should an audit be deemed improperly conducted.