Political Parties elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Commons
Commission's general functions - continued

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Education about electoral and democratic systems.     11. - (1) The Commission shall promote public awareness of-
    (a) electoral systems and matters;
    (b) systems of local government and national government; and
    (c) the institutions of the European Union.
      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to local government elections, or to local government, in Scotland; but in paragraph (b) of that subsection the reference to national government includes (in addition to the government of the United Kingdom) the government of parts of the United Kingdom for which there are devolved legislatures.
      (3) The Commission shall perform their functions under subsection (1) in such manner as they think fit but may, in particular, do so by-
    (a) carrying out programmes of education or information to promote public awareness of any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1); or
    (b) making grants to other persons or bodies for the purpose of enabling them to carry out such programmes.
      (4) Any grant under subsection (3)(b) may be made subject to such conditions as the Commission consider appropriate.
      (5) The total expenditure incurred in any financial year by the Commission in performing their functions under subsection (1) (whether by making grants or otherwise) shall not exceed such sum as is for the time being specified for the purposes of this subsection by an order made by the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury.
Commission's electoral boundary functions
Boundary committees.     12. - (1) The Commission shall establish four Boundary Committees, one for each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
      (2) Each Boundary Committee shall consist of a chairman and at least two other members.
      (3) The members of a Boundary Committee shall be appointed by the Commission.
      (4) Only an Electoral Commissioner or a deputy Electoral Commissioner may be appointed a member of a Boundary Committee; and only an Electoral Commissioner may be appointed chairman of a Boundary Committee.
      (5) The following persons shall be assessors to the Boundary Committees-
    (a) in the case of each of the Boundary Committee for England and the Boundary Committee for Wales, the Registrar General for England and Wales and the Director General of Ordnance Survey;
    (b) in the case of the Boundary Committee for Scotland, the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland and the Director General of Ordnance Survey;
    (c) in the case of the Boundary Committee for Northern Ireland, the Registrar General of Births and Deaths in Northern Ireland, the Commissioner of Valuation for Northern Ireland and the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.
Deputy Electoral Commissioners.     13. - (1) The Commission may appoint Deputy Electoral Commissioners.
      (2) The number of Deputy Electoral Commissioners shall not exceed such number as the Commission, with the agreement of the Speaker's Committee, may determine.
      (3) The functions of a Deputy Electoral Commissioner are limited to serving as a member of any Boundary Committee to which he is appointed.
      (4) Schedule 1 contains further provisions about Deputy Electoral Commissioners.
Boundary Commissions: transfer of functions.     14. - (1) The functions of the Boundary Commission for England, the Boundary Commission for Scotland, the Boundary Commission for Wales and the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland shall, in accordance with this section, be transferred to the Commission.
      (2) The Commission shall make arrangements for the functions transferred to it from each of the Boundary Commissions to be exercised by the corresponding Boundary Committee.
      (3) After section 1 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 there shall be inserted-
The Boundary Committees.     1A. In this Act "Boundary Committee" means a Boundary Committee established under section 12 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
      (4) In sections 3 to 6 of, and Schedule 2 to, that Act (provisions relating to the Boundary Commissions), for "Commission" (in each place) there shall be substituted "Committee" (and, in the sidenote for section 3, for "Commissions" there shall be substituted "Boundary Committees").
      (5) In Schedule 1 to each of the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Scotland Act 1998 (determination of electoral boundaries), for "Commission" (in each place, including the cross-headings) there shall be substituted "Committee".
      (6) A Boundary Commission shall cease to exist when the Secretary of State, being satisfied that the Commission has no further functions to perform, by order so directs.
      (7) Section 2 of, and Schedule 1 to, the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (establishment and constitution etc. of the Boundary Commissions) shall cease to have effect.
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