Elections Bill

Explanatory Notes

Parliamentary approval for financial costs or for charges imposed

706 The Bill requires a money resolution to cover increased public expenditure under other Acts. This arises mainly from the costs to electoral registration officers, Returning Officers and the Electoral Commission of functions conferred or imposed on them by the Bill. A money resolution was agreed to on 7th September 2021.

707 Functions that are conferred or imposed on electoral registration officers include functions relating to the determination of and issuing of electoral identity documents (see paragraph 2 of Schedule 1); costs in complying with the new rules on postal and proxy voting (see in particular Schedules 3 and 4); and ongoing costs resulting from the expanded overseas electors franchise (clause 12).

708 The Bill also confers and imposes specific functions on the Electoral Commission, including with regard to public awareness activity to support implementation of the voter identification policy, the production of guidance across electoral administration and political finance measures, and enforcement of new or updated political finance laws and digital imprints offences. Further information on estimated costs to the Commission are set out in the Bill’s Impact Assessment. Operating costs incurred by the Commission as a result of functions conferred or imposed by the Bill would need to be submitted by the Electoral Commission and approved by the Speaker’s Committee as part of their annual Main Supply Estimates.

709 Various provisions of the Bill - including the amendments to the RPA 1983 made by paragraph 12 of Schedule 1, and clause 9 (which requires Returning Officers to provide the necessary equipment to make it easier for people with disabilities to vote), may lead to increased expenses for Returning Officers. And a number of provisions confer or impose functions on the Electoral Commission and may result in increased expenditure for the Commission (see in particular Part 3, and Part 4).


31 January 2022