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Freedom of information request response - 06515

FOI request

FOI ID number
06515
Regarding
Electoral Register
Request

May you please supply me with the following information under Freedom of Information laws…

Amount of data sold: 

  • How much money did the council earn from selling data from the electoral register and how many times was this data sold? May you please provide the figures per financial year for the following years: 2018/19, 2017/18 and 2016/17.  
  • For example, in 2018/19, the council earned £1200 in total from selling information from the electoral register. The data was sold to different organisations five times within the financial year. 

Buyers of the data: 

  • If possible under FOI laws, may you please provide further information on the buyers of the data in each instance and whether they purchased data from the full electoral register or the ‘open register”. May you please provide the figures per financial year for the following years: 2018/19, 2017/18 and 2016/17.  
  • For example, in 2018/19, the council sold data to external organisations 5 times. The council made £1200 in total from these 5 sales. One sale was to the credit agency Equifax, amounting to £1000. In this instance, Equifax purchased data from the full register. 

Our response

Response

Please note that we will not be treating this as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, as the Electoral Registration Officer’s role falls outside of the legislation.

The Registration of Electors is governed by the Representation of the People Act 1983 as amended. Under Section 8 of the Act, a council must appoint one of its officers to be the Registration Officer for any constituency or part of a constituency coterminous with or situated within the council's area. Any appointment as Electoral Registration Officer is separate to any other appointment and although appointed by the council, the Electoral Registration Officer's responsibilities and duties are personal. An example of this is that the Register of Electors is deemed to be the property of the Electoral Registration Officer, not the local authority. The Electoral Registration Officer does not carry out the duties on behalf of the local authority but in his own personal capacity.

The Freedom of Information Act does not list any person appointed under the Representation of the People Act 1983. It follows that the Electoral Registration Officer, Returning Officer or any other person appointed under the Act are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

See electoral registration information on our website.

Response date
04 December 2019