Now that we are in election season here in TCI, many clients are being asked for political contributions. In light of TCI’s recent history, that causes concern as to what, if anything, is permissible, hence this brief legal summary:
- The matter is now regulated by the Political Activities Ordinance 2012.
- Part IV of the Ordinance deals with donations to political parties, but the aspects referred to below apply likewise to donations to independent candidates.
- We do not propose to give a detailed summary of the law: it is quite complex. However, in relation to donations to political parties or to independent candidates:-
a.“Donation” includes a gift of money or other property, sponsorship, a subscription, monies spent on party expenses, money lent to the party other than on commercial terms and the provision of property or services to the party other than on commercial terms.
b. A party can accept a donation only from a permissible donor.
c. A permissible donor includes (i) an individual registered in the Register of Electors, (ii) an individual not so registered but who is ordinarily resident in TCI, (iii) an individual who is a Turks and Caicos Islander, (iv) a company formed and registered under the Companies Ordinance which, for the previous 12 months, has continuously carried on business in TCI and (v) a limited partnership which carries on business in TCI.
d. Specified information regarding each donor must be given to the recipient The maximum permitted donation is $30,000.00 in any financial year of the party concerned (whether given as one or more than one donation).
e. There are anti-avoidance provisions which catch attempts to split up donations between different givers when they essentially come from the same person.
f. All donations that exceed $3,000.00 will be made public in accordance with prescribed rules.
g. Breaches of the rules are a criminal offence.
If you have any questions, please contact your Misick & Stanbrook professional.
Misick & Stanbrook
The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice and is not intended by the authors or Misick & Stanbrook to do so. Before relying on any information or opinion in this article you ought first to obtain advice on your particular circumstances from your Misick & Stanbrook professional.