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Electoral Register: Freedom of Information

Question for Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

UIN 15534, tabled on 9 November 2015

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what guidance the Electoral Commission has issued to returning officers on responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act for statistics on electoral registration.

Answered on

16 November 2015

The Electoral Commission issues guidance to Electoral Registration Officers on registration matters. Electoral Registration Officers are not a public authority under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and, as such, are exempt from the disclosure requirements imposed by it.

However, in its guidance manual for Electoral Registration Officers, the Commission advises that, where possible, Electoral Registration Officers should disclose the requested information, provided it is already in the public domain or does not include personal data. The total number of electors registered in their area is a specific example provided in the manual of statistical data that could be disclosed.

Following specific requests and enquiries from political parties, the Commission, in a Bulletin issued to electoral practitioners on 26 June of this year, further advised that Electoral Registration Officers could disclose statistical information relating to those electors in their area who were not registered individually.

Answered by

Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
Named day
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