Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART I, THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION - continued

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Commission's electoral boundary functions
Boundary committees.     13. - (1) The Commission shall establish four Boundary Committees, one for each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
 
      (2) Each Boundary Committee shall consist of a chairman and at least two other members.
 
      (3) The members of a Boundary Committee shall be appointed by the Commission.
 
      (4) Only an Electoral Commissioner or a deputy Electoral Commissioner may be appointed a member of a Boundary Committee; and only an Electoral Commissioner may be appointed chairman of a Boundary Committee.
 
      (5) The following persons shall be assessors to the Boundary Committees-
 
 
    (a) in the case of each of the Boundary Committee for England and the Boundary Committee for Wales, the Registrar General for England and Wales and the Director General of Ordnance Survey;
 
    (b) in the case of the Boundary Committee for Scotland, the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland and the Director General of Ordnance Survey;
 
    (c) in the case of the Boundary Committee for Northern Ireland, the Registrar General of Births and Deaths in Northern Ireland, the Commissioner of Valuation for Northern Ireland and the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.
Deputy Electoral Commissioners.     14. - (1) The Commission may appoint Deputy Electoral Commissioners.
 
      (2) The number of Deputy Electoral Commissioners shall not exceed such number as the Commission, with the agreement of the Speaker's Committee, may determine.
 
      (3) The functions of a Deputy Electoral Commissioner are limited to serving as a member of any Boundary Committee to which he is appointed.
 
      (4) Schedule 1 contains further provisions about Deputy Electoral Commissioners.
 
Boundary Commissions: transfer of functions.     15. - (1) The functions of the Boundary Commission for England, the Boundary Commission for Scotland, the Boundary Commission for Wales and the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland shall, in accordance with this section, be transferred to the Commission.
 
      (2) The Commission shall make arrangements for the functions transferred to it from each of the Boundary Commissions to be exercised by the corresponding Boundary Committee.
 
      (3) After section 1 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 there shall be inserted-
 
 
"The Boundary Committees.     1A. In this Act "Boundary Committee" means a Boundary Committee established under section 13 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000."
 
      (4) In sections 3 to 6 of, and Schedule 2 to, that Act (provisions relating to the Boundary Commissions), for "Commission" (in each place) there shall be substituted "Committee" (and, in the sidenote for section 3, for "Commissions" there shall be substituted "Boundary Committees").
 
      (5) In Schedule 1 to each of the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Scotland Act 1998 (determination of electoral boundaries), for "Commission" (in each place, including the cross-headings) there shall be substituted "Committee".
 
      (6) A Boundary Commission shall cease to exist when the Secretary of State, being satisfied that the Commission has no further functions to perform, by order so directs.
 
      (7) Section 2 of, and Schedule 1 to, the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (establishment and constitution etc. of the Boundary Commissions) shall cease to have effect.
 
Transfer of property etc. of the Boundary Commissions.     16. - (1) There shall be transferred to and vest in the Commission by virtue of this subsection all property, rights and liabilities to which a Boundary Commission are entitled or subject when their functions are transferred to the Commission in accordance with section 15.
 
      (2) A certificate issued by the Secretary of State that any property has been transferred by subsection (1) shall be conclusive evidence of the transfer.
 
      (3) Subsection (1) has effect in relation to property, rights or liabilities to which it applies despite any provision (of whatever nature) which would prevent or restrict the transfer of the property, rights or liabilities otherwise than by that subsection.
 
Local Government Commission for England.     17. - (1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision for the transfer to the Commission of any one or more of the functions of the Local Government Commission for England (in this section referred to as "the English Commission").
 
      (2) The Commission shall make arrangements for functions transferred to them by an order under subsection (1) to be exercised by the Boundary Committee for England.
 
      (3) Where each of the functions of the English Commission is transferred by an order under subsection (1), the Secretary of State may by order make provision for the abolition of the English Commission.
 
      (4) An order under subsection (1) or (3) may include provision for the transfer to the Commission-
 
 
    (a) of the staff of the English Commission, and
 
    (b) of any property, rights and liabilities to which the English Commission are entitled or subject;
  and an order which contains provision such as is mentioned in paragraph (b) may in particular provide for the order to have effect despite any provision (of whatever nature) which would prevent or restrict the transfer of the property, rights or liabilities otherwise than by the order.
 
      (5) An order under subsection (3) may include provision for the abolition of any duty in compliance with which the English Commission was established or constituted.
 
Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales.     18. - (1) The National Assembly for Wales may by order make provision for the transfer to the Commission of any one or more of the functions of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales (in this section referred to as "the Welsh Commission").
 
      (2) The Commission shall make arrangements for functions transferred to them by an order under subsection (1) to be exercised by the Boundary Committee for Wales.
 
      (3) Where each of the functions of the Welsh Commission is transferred by an order under subsection (1), the National Assembly for Wales may by order make provision for the abolition of the Welsh Commission.
 
      (4) An order under subsection (1) or (3) may include provision for the transfer to the Commission-
 
 
    (a) of the staff of the Welsh Commission, and
 
    (b) of any property, rights and liabilities to which the Welsh Commission are entitled or subject;
  and an order which contains provision such as is mentioned in paragraph (b) may in particular provide for the order to have effect despite any provision (of whatever nature) which would prevent or restrict the transfer of the property, rights or liabilities otherwise than by the order.
 
      (5) An order under subsection (3) may include provision for the abolition of any duty in compliance with which the Welsh Commission was established or constituted.
 
      (6) An order under this section may contain any appropriate consequential, incidental, supplementary or transitional provisions or savings (including provisions amending, repealing or revoking enactments).
 
      (7) Any power of the National Assembly for Wales to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.
 
      (8) The expenditure of the Commission, so far as attributable to the exercise of any functions transferred by an order under subsection (1), shall be met by the National Assembly for Wales.
 
 
Supplementary
Interpretation of Part I.     19. In this Part "financial year", in relation to the Commission, means a period of 12 months ending with 31st March; but the first financial year of the Commission is the period beginning with the date of the establishment of the Commission and ending with the next 31st March.
 
 
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