Interim Electoral Management Board for Scotland

Deputy Prime Minister written question – answered on 2nd December 2010.

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Photo of Tom Greatrex Tom Greatrex Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the merits of establishing the Interim Electoral Management Board for Scotland on a statutory basis.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The Scottish Government introduced the Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament on 7 October 2010. The Bill includes provisions to allow for the Electoral Management Board to be established in statute as an independent body, comprising representatives of Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers. Its convenor will have a statutory power of direction over Returning Officers who are in charge of Scottish local government elections about the exercise of their functions in relation to these elections, and over Electoral Registration Officers about the exercise of their functions in relation to a particular local government election.

The Government introduced the Scotland Bill in Parliament on 30 November. The Bill includes provisions to devolve responsibility for the administration of the Scottish Parliament elections to the Scottish Government in accordance with the recommendations of the Calman Commission. It will be then for the Scottish Government to decide whether they wish to put the Interim Electoral Management Board on a statutory basis for those elections.

For European parliamentary elections a Regional Returning Officer (RRO) is appointed. The RRO has a power of direction over the local Returning Officers in his or her region. There are no plans at this stage to bring forward legislation to put the Interim Management Board for Scotland on a statutory basis in respect of UK parliamentary or European elections. However, we will keep the position under review.

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