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Political Parties and Elections Bill


Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

34

 

31      

Obligatory provision of identifying information

(1)   

With effect from the commencement of this section, the amendments made to

the 1983 Act by section 1 of the Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

(c. 13) extend to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2)   

The 1983 Act is amended as follows.

5

(3)   

In section 10 (maintenance of registers: annual canvass)—

(a)   

for subsection (4) there is substituted—

“(4)   

The form to be used for the purposes of a canvass shall be—

(a)   

a form prescribed for those purposes, or

(b)   

a form to the same effect.

10

   

Paragraph (b) does not apply in Northern Ireland and, in Great

Britain, does not apply if or to the extent that regulations so

provide.”;

(b)   

in subsection (4A), for “a canvass in Northern Ireland” there is

substituted “a canvass”;

15

(c)   

in subsection (4A)(c), at the beginning of sub-paragraph (ii) there is

inserted “in the case of a canvass in Northern Ireland,”;

(d)   

in subsection (4B), for “The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern

Ireland” there is substituted “A registration officer”;

(e)   

after that subsection there is inserted—

20

“(4C)   

In relation to each person without a national insurance number

to whom the form mentioned in subsection (4) above relates,

regulations may require the form to be accompanied by such

other evidence to identify the person as may be prescribed.

(4D)   

A registration officer shall keep a record showing the

25

information obtained under subsection (4A) above or by virtue

of subsection (4C) above.”

(4)   

In section 10ZB (the relevant registration objectives)—

(a)   

in the heading, the words “(Northern Ireland)” are omitted;

(b)   

in subsection (3), for “the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland”

30

there is substituted “a registration officer”;

(c)   

in subsections (4) and (5)(a), for “the Chief Electoral Officer” there is

substituted “the registration officer concerned”.

(5)   

In section 10A (maintenance of registers: registration of electors)—

(a)   

in subsection (1A), the words “in respect of an address in Northern

35

Ireland” are omitted;

(b)   

in subsection (1A)(c), at the beginning of sub-paragraph (ii) there is

inserted “in the case of an application for registration in respect of an

address in Northern Ireland,”;

(c)   

in subsection (1B), for “The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern

40

Ireland” there is substituted “A registration officer”;

(d)   

after that subsection there is inserted—

“(1C)   

In relation to each person without a national insurance number

to whom an application for registration relates, regulations may

require the application to be accompanied by such other

45

evidence to identify the person as may be prescribed.

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

35

 

(1D)   

A registration officer shall keep a record showing the

information obtained under subsection (1A) above or by virtue

of subsection (1C) above.”;

(e)   

in subsection (2)(a), for the words from “the form” to “in a register”

there is substituted “a completed form specifies any person as a person

5

who is entitled to be registered in a register in respect of a particular

address”;

(f)   

in subsection (5)(a), for sub-paragraph (i) there is substituted—

“(i)   

no canvass form was returned showing the

elector as resident at that address on that date,

10

or”;

(g)   

in subsection (5A), for the words in paragraph (a) from the beginning

to “does not include” there is substituted “a canvass form has been

returned showing the elector as resident at that address but the form

does not include”;

15

(h)   

in subsection (7), for the words after “in cases where” there is

substituted “no canvass form has been returned in respect of the person

in question”;

(i)   

in  subsection (9), before the definition of “determines” there is

inserted—

20

““canvass form” means the form mentioned in section

10(4) above;”.

(6)   

In section 13A (alteration of registers)—

(a)   

in subsection (2A), the words “in respect of an address in Northern

Ireland” are omitted;

25

(b)   

in subsection (2A)(c), at the beginning of sub-paragraph (ii) there is

inserted “in the case of an application for registration in respect of an

address in Northern Ireland,”;

(c)   

in subsection (2B), for “The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern

Ireland” there is substituted “A registration officer”;

30

(d)   

after that subsection there is inserted—

“(2C)   

In relation to each person without a national insurance number

to whom an application for registration under subsection (1)(a)

above relates, regulations may require the application to be

accompanied by such other evidence to identify the person as

35

may be prescribed.

(2D)   

A registration officer shall keep a record showing the

information obtained under subsection (2A) above or by virtue

of subsection (2C) above.”

(7)   

In section 13BB (election falling within canvass period) (inserted by section 21

40

above), in subsection (1)(a)—

(a)   

for “the form returned in respect of an address (“the relevant address”)”

there is substituted “a form”;

(b)   

for “an application for registration is treated as having been made in

respect of that address” there is substituted “an application for

45

registration in respect of a particular address (“the relevant address”) is

treated as having been made”.

(8)   

In section 13D (provision of false information), in subsection (2), for “the Chief

Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland” there is substituted “a registration

officer”.

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Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

36

 

(9)   

In section 201 (regulations), after subsection (2A) there is inserted—

“(2B)   

In the case of regulations under section 10(4C), 10A(1C) or 13A(2C), in

carrying out the consultation required by section 7 of the Political

Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 the Secretary of State shall

seek the views of the Electoral Commission as to whether the provision

5

to be made by the regulations would help or hinder the achievement of

the registration objectives (within the meaning given by section 10ZB).”

(10)   

In Schedule 2 (provisions which may be contained in regulations as to

registration etc), in paragraph 1—

(a)   

after sub-paragraph (4) there is inserted—

10

  “(4ZA)  

Provisions for the disclosure (otherwise than by virtue of

sub-paragraph (4) above) by the authority responsible for

national insurance numbers (the “relevant authority”) to a

registration officer or a CORE keeper, following a request by

that person, of—

15

(a)   

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

(b)   

in the case of such an individual recorded as having a

20

national 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

25

registration officer or checking a person’s entitlement to be

registered in such a register.

    (4ZB)  

Provisions authorising the relevant authority to charge fees

to a person making a request of the kind mentioned in sub-

paragraph (4ZA) to cover the authority’s reasonable

30

expenses in complying with such requests.

    (4ZC)  

Provisions for the disclosure by a CORE keeper to a

registration officer, for the purpose mentioned in sub-

paragraph (4ZA), of information within paragraph (a) or (b)

of that sub-paragraph.”;

35

(b)   

in sub-paragraph (4A), for “such authority or person” there is

substituted “authority or person within paragraph (a) or (b) of sub-

paragraph (4)”, and for “such records” there is substituted “any records

within sub-paragraph (4)”;

(c)   

in sub-paragraph (5), for “sub-paragraph (4) or (4A)” there is

40

substituted “sub-paragraph (4), (4ZA) or (4A)”;

(d)   

for sub-paragraph (6) there is substituted—

    “(6)  

But provision made under sub-paragraph (4ZA), (4ZC) or

(4A) may not permit information obtained by a registration

officer or CORE keeper under that provision to be disclosed

45

by the officer or CORE keeper except—

(a)   

for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (4ZA)

or, as the case may be, sub-paragraph (4A), or

(b)   

for the purposes of any criminal or civil proceedings,

 
 

Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

37

 

           

or, in the case of information obtained by a registration

officer, to a person to whom the officer may delegate

functions.”;

(e)   

after sub-paragraph (6) there is inserted—

   “(6A)  

In sub-paragraphs (4ZA) and (4ZB) “CORE keeper” has the

5

same meaning as in Part 1 of the Electoral Administration Act

2006.”;

(f)   

sub-paragraph (8) is omitted.

(11)   

In paragraph 13 of that Schedule, for sub-paragraph (1ZA) there is

substituted—

10

  “(1ZA)  

Provisions making a person who discloses information in breach

of paragraph 1(6) guilty of an offence punishable—

(a)   

on conviction on indictment, by imprisonment for a term

not exceeding two years or a fine, or both;

(b)   

on summary conviction in England and Wales and

15

Scotland, by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12

months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or

both;

(c)   

on summary conviction in Northern Ireland, by

imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine

20

not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both.”

32      

Provision supplementing section 31

(1)   

Where on the commencement of section 31 a person is registered in a register

maintained by a registration officer, the person’s name is not to be removed

from the register by virtue of section 10A(5A) of the 1983 Act (canvass form not

25

including required information, etc) until the conclusion of the third canvass to

be concluded after the commencement of that section.

(2)   

An order bringing section 31 into force may—

(a)   

repeal any provision of sections 28, 29 and 30;

(b)   

make amendments to any enactment that are consequential on the

30

coming into force of section 31.

(3)   

The Secretary of State may (either before, at the same time as or after section 31

is brought into force) by regulations—

(a)   

amend section 10(4A) or (4B), section 10A(1A) or (1B) or section

13A(2A) or (2B) of the 1983 Act;

35

(b)   

make any other amendments to the 1983 Act that appear to the

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

amendment made by virtue of paragraph (a).

(4)   

Regulations under subsection (3)—

(a)   

may make different provision for different purposes or different areas;

40

(b)   

may make transitional or saving provision.

(5)   

The power to make regulations under subsection (3) is exercisable by statutory

instrument.

(6)   

Before making regulations under subsection (3) the Secretary of State must—

(a)   

consult the Electoral Commission, and

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Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

38

 

(b)   

in the case of regulations containing provision amending section 10(4A)

or (4B), section 10A(1A) or (1B) or section 13A(2A) or (2B) of the 1983

Act, seek the Commission’s views as to whether the provision would

help or hinder the achievement of the registration objectives.

(7)   

An order containing provision made by virtue of paragraph (b) of subsection

5

(2), or regulations under subsection (3), may not be made unless a draft of the

statutory instrument containing the order or regulations has been laid before,

and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

Data schemes

33      

Schemes for provision of data to registration officers

10

(1)   

The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument make

provision (referred to below as a “scheme”) authorising or requiring specified

persons to provide to a specified registration officer, for the purpose

mentioned in subsection (2), information contained in records kept by those

persons.

15

(2)   

The purpose is assisting the registration officer to meet the registration

objectives and, in particular, assisting the officer—

(a)   

to ascertain to what extent those objectives are being met, and

(b)   

to determine what steps should be taken for meeting them.

(3)   

A scheme may authorise or require information to be provided at specified

20

times or in specified circumstances.

(4)   

A scheme may not authorise or require information to be provided by a person

other than—

(a)   

a local or public authority, or

(b)   

a person providing services to, or authorised to exercise any function

25

of, a local or public authority.

(5)   

An order under this section may include more than one scheme.

(6)   

An order under this section has effect despite any statutory or other restriction

on the disclosure of information (but may not permit disclosure in breach of

subsection (7)).

30

(7)   

Information provided to a registration officer under an order under this section

may not be disclosed to a person other than one to whom the officer may

delegate his or her functions, except—

(a)   

for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2), or

(b)   

for the purposes of any criminal or civil proceedings.

35

(8)   

A person who discloses information in breach of subsection (7) is guilty of an

offence and liable—

(a)   

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

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

(b)   

on summary conviction in England and Wales and Scotland, to

40

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

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

maximum, or to both.

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Political Parties and Elections Bill
Part 4 — Electoral registration

39

 

(9)   

An order under this section may contain incidental, supplemental, transitional

or saving provision.

(10)   

An order under this section must not be made unless a draft of the statutory

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

each House of Parliament.

5

(11)   

In this section “specified” means specified in an order under this section.

34      

Schemes under section 33: proposals, consultation and evaluation

(1)   

A scheme may be included in an order under section 33 only if a proposal has

been submitted to the Secretary of State by the registration officer to whom the

scheme relates and the scheme gives effect to the proposal, either—

10

(a)   

without modification, or

(b)   

with modifications suggested by the Secretary of State and agreed to by

the officer.

(2)   

The Secretary of State may not make an order under section 33 without first

consulting—

15

(a)   

the Electoral Commission;

(b)   

any person authorised or required by the order to provide information

to a registration officer;

(c)   

the Information Commissioner.

(3)   

An order under section 33 must specify a date (the “evaluation date”) for each

20

scheme included in the order.

   

The Electoral Commission must prepare a report on the operation of each

scheme and, no later than the evaluation date, give a copy of it—

(a)   

to the registration officer concerned, and

(b)   

to the Secretary of State.

25

(4)   

A report under subsection (3) must set out the terms of the scheme and must

contain—

(a)   

a description of the scheme;

(b)   

an assessment of the matters set out in subsection (5);

(c)   

anything else specified in the order under section 33.

30

(5)   

The matters are—

(a)   

the extent to which the scheme has achieved the purpose mentioned in

section 33(2);

(b)   

whether there was any objection to the scheme, and if so how much;

(c)   

how easy the scheme was to administer;

35

(d)   

the extent to which the scheme resulted in savings of time and costs, or

the opposite.

(6)   

The registration officer concerned—

(a)   

must give the Electoral Commission whatever assistance they

reasonably require in connection with the preparation of the report;

40

(b)   

must publish the report in whatever way the officer thinks appropriate.

(7)   

In this section “scheme” has the same meaning as in section 33.

 
 

 
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