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Political Parties and Elections Bill


Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

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27      

Use of CORE information

(1)   

Section 2 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22) (co-ordinated on-line

record of electors: use of information) is amended as follows.

(2)   

At the end of subsection (3) there is inserted—

   

“Modifications under this subsection may, in particular, provide for the

5

supply of material by a CORE keeper to be subject to conditions or

restrictions which do not apply in the case of an ERO (or which differ

from those that apply in the case of an ERO).”

(3)   

After subsection (4) there is inserted—

“(4A)   

A CORE scheme may amend section 3 of the Juries Act 1974 (electoral

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register as basis of jury selection)—

(a)   

so as to require a CORE keeper to supply a designated officer

with any documents or information referred to in that section

(as it had effect immediately before the establishment of the

scheme), and to make provision as to when the CORE keeper is

15

to do so;

(b)   

so as to require an ERO to supply a designated officer with any

such documents or information, but only when requested to do

so by the officer.

   

In this subsection “designated officer” means an officer designated by

20

the Lord Chancellor.”

(4)   

In subsection (6)—

(a)   

in paragraph (b), after “is requested” there is inserted “in respect of the

same address or”;

(b)   

in paragraph (c), for “acts as” there is substituted “is appointed as, or

25

votes as,”.

(5)   

After subsection (6) there is inserted—

“(6A)   

A CORE scheme may require that where a CORE keeper informs an

ERO as mentioned in subsection (5), or informs an ERO of any

suspicions that the CORE keeper has concerning the commission of an

30

offence under the 1983 Act or other impropriety—

(a)   

the ERO must take such steps (if any) as appear to the ERO to

be appropriate in response to being so informed;

(b)   

the ERO must notify the CORE keeper of the steps taken (or of

the reasons for not taking any), within such period and in such

35

form and manner as is specified—

(i)   

in the scheme, or

(ii)   

by the CORE keeper in accordance with the scheme.”

(6)   

In subsection (7)(b), after “relating to the person” there is inserted “, or to any

such suspicions as are mentioned in subsection (6A),”.

40

(7)   

In subsection (11)—

(a)   

for “must not authorise” there is substituted “must not—

(a)   

authorise”;

(b)   

at the end there is inserted—

“(b)   

authorise one ERO to supply information to another.”

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Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

30

 

(8)   

After that subsection there is inserted—

“(11A)   

A CORE scheme may authorise the CORE keeper to supply

information to the Electoral Commission.”

Identifying information

28      

Voluntary provision of identifying information

5

(1)   

In this section “identifying information”, in relation to a person, means—

(a)   

the person’s signature or, if the person is someone to whom subsection

(2) applies, an indication to that effect;

(b)   

the person’s date of birth;

(c)   

the person’s national insurance number or, if the person has no national

10

insurance number, an indication to that effect.

(2)   

This subsection applies to a person for whom it is not reasonably practicable to

sign in a consistent and distinctive way because he or she is blind or has some

other disability, or cannot read.

(3)   

A registration officer, in carrying out his or her functions, including in

15

particular—

(a)   

maintaining registers under section 9 of the 1983 Act,

(b)   

conducting canvasses under section 10 of that Act, and

(c)   

determining applications for registration under section 10A or 13A of

that Act,

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must take steps to obtain identifying information from each person who is, or

who claims to be, entitled to be or to remain registered in any of the officer’s

registers.

(4)   

The steps taken under subsection (3) to collect identifying information must

include—

25

(a)   

asking for the information, and

(b)   

explaining how collecting identifying information can help to improve

the accuracy of the registers,

   

but in taking those steps a registration officer must make clear that it is not

obligatory to provide the information.

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(5)   

A registration officer must keep a record showing the identifying information

obtained under this section.

(6)   

The duties under this section do not apply at any time before 1 July 2010.

29      

Regulations amending or supplementing section 28

(1)   

The Secretary of State may by regulations—

35

(a)   

amend subsection (1) or (2) of section 28;

(b)   

make any other amendments to that section or this section that appear

to the Secretary of State to be necessary or desirable in consequence of

an amendment made by virtue of paragraph (a);

(c)   

make provision supplementing that section.

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(2)   

The provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (1)(c) includes in

particular—

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

31

 

(a)   

provision as to forms on which identifying information may be

provided;

(b)   

provision as to explanations or other material to be provided by

registration officers, either on forms of the kind mentioned in

paragraph (a) or otherwise;

5

(c)   

provision about the form and manner in which records under section

28(5) are to be kept;

(d)   

provision for the disclosure by the authority responsible for national

insurance numbers (the “relevant authority”) to a registration officer or

CORE keeper, following a request by that person, of—

10

(i)   

the national insurance number recorded in respect of an

individual specified or described in the request, or the fact that

the individual is not recorded as having a national insurance

number, and

(ii)   

in the case of such an individual recorded as having a national

15

insurance number, any further information about the

individual that is recorded by the relevant authority,

   

for the purpose of checking the accuracy of any information that

appears in a register or other record kept by a registration officer

(including a record under section 28(5)) or checking a person’s

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entitlement to be registered in a register;

(e)   

provision authorising the relevant authority to charge fees to a person

making a request of the kind mentioned in paragraph (d) to cover the

authority’s reasonable expenses in complying with such requests;

(f)   

provision for the disclosure by a CORE keeper to a registration officer,

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for the purpose mentioned in paragraph (d), of information within sub-

paragraph (i) or (ii) of that paragraph;

(g)   

provision as to action to be taken by a registration officer who suspects

(whether as a result of checks of the kind referred to in paragraph (d) or

otherwise) that any information collected under section 28 is false.

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(3)   

Information obtained by a registration officer or CORE keeper under

regulations made by virtue of subsection (2)(d) or (f) may not be disclosed by

the officer or CORE keeper except—

(a)   

for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(d), or

(b)   

for the purposes of any criminal or civil proceedings,

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or, in the case of information obtained by a registration officer, to a person to

whom the officer may delegate his or her functions.

(4)   

A person who discloses information in breach of subsection (3) is guilty of an

offence and liable—

(a)   

on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding

40

two years, or to a fine, or to both;

(b)   

on summary conviction in England and Wales and Scotland, to

imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to a fine not

exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(c)   

on summary conviction in Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a

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term not exceeding 6 months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory

maximum, or to both.

(5)   

Regulations under this section may contain transitional or saving provision.

(6)   

The power to make regulations under this section is exercisable by statutory

instrument.

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Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

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(7)   

Before making regulations under this section, the Secretary of State—

(a)   

must consult the Electoral Commission, and

(b)   

in the case of regulations containing provision amending subsection (1)

or (2) of section 28, must seek the Commission’s views as to whether, if

it was obligatory for every registered person to provide identifying

5

information, the provision would help or hinder the achievement of the

registration objectives.

(8)   

For the purposes of this Part, the registration objectives are to secure, so far as

is reasonably practicable—

(a)   

that persons who are entitled to be registered in a register are registered

10

in it,

(b)   

that persons who are not entitled to be registered in a register are not

registered in it, and

(c)   

that none of the information relating to a registered person that appears

in a register or other record kept by a registration officer is false.

15

(9)   

The first regulations under this section, and any subsequent ones that amend

section 28 or this section, may not be made unless a draft of the statutory

instrument containing them has been laid before, and approved by a resolution

of, each House of Parliament.

(10)   

Any regulations under this section not falling within subsection (9) are subject

20

to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(11)   

In this section—

“CORE keeper” has the same meaning as in Part 1 of the Electoral

Administration Act 2006 (c. 22);

“identifying information” has the same meaning as in section 28.

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30      

Report by Electoral Commission on provision of identifying information

(1)   

The Electoral Commission must keep under review the operation of section 28

and any supplementary regulations.

(2)   

In each calendar year beginning with the year after that in which the duties

under that section first arise, the Commission must—

30

(a)   

submit to the Secretary of State a report on the operation of that section

and any supplementary regulations, and

(b)   

publish the report in whatever way the Commission think appropriate.

(3)   

A report under this section must contain an assessment by the Commission—

(a)   

as to the adequacy of the electoral registration system in Great Britain,

35

with particular reference to the effectiveness of registration officers in

meeting the registration objectives;

(b)   

as to what (if any) changes with regard to that system would be

necessary or desirable for meeting those objectives if the provision of

identifying information was made obligatory.

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(4)   

The report for 2014 must contain (as well as the assessment mentioned in

subsection (3))—

(a)   

the Commission’s assessment, on the basis of the available evidence

(including in particular evidence as to the operation of section 28 and

any supplementary regulations), as to whether it would help or hinder

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Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

33

 

the achievement of the registration objectives to make the provision of

identifying information obligatory;

(b)   

the Commission’s recommendation as to whether or not the provision

of identifying information should be made obligatory.

(5)   

The report for 2014 must be—

5

(a)   

submitted to the Secretary of State by 31 July in that year, and

(b)   

laid before Parliament as soon as possible by the Secretary of State.

(6)   

If—

(a)   

the recommendation in the report for 2014 is that the provision of

identifying information should be made obligatory, and

10

(b)   

the recommendation is approved by a resolution of each House of

Parliament,

   

the Secretary of State must as soon as reasonably practicable make an order

under section 41(1) bringing section 31 into force.

   

The Secretary of State may not make such an order if those conditions are not

15

met.

(7)   

If—

(a)   

the report for 2014 does not contain a recommendation that the

provision of identifying information should be made obligatory, or

(b)   

the report does contain such a recommendation, but it is not approved

20

by a resolution of each House of Parliament,

   

within 12 months after the day on which the report is submitted by the

Electoral Commission (in the case mentioned in paragraph (a)) or disapproved

in Parliament (in the case mentioned in paragraph (b)), the Secretary of State

must require the Commission to submit, by a specified date, a further report

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under this section containing the things mentioned in subsection (4).

(8)   

For the purposes of subsection (7)—

(a)   

a report is disapproved in Parliament when either House decides

against resolving to approve the report (or, if both Houses so decide on

different days, when the first of them so decides);

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(b)   

the date specified by the Secretary of State must be at least one year, but

no more than two years, after the day on which the requirement under

that subsection is imposed.

(9)   

Subsections (5)(b) and (6) to (8) apply to a report submitted in response to a

requirement under subsection (7) as they apply to the report for 2014.

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(10)   

A registration officer must comply with any request made in writing by the

Electoral Commission for assistance that they reasonably require in connection

with the preparation of a report under this section.

(11)   

In this section—

“identifying information” has the same meaning as in section 28;

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“obligatory” means obligatory for every person registered in a register;

“supplementary regulations” means regulations under section 29 made

by virtue of subsection (1)(c) of that section.

 
 

 
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