Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART I, THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION - continued
Commission's general functions - continued

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Education about electoral and democratic systems.     12. - (1) The Commission shall promote public awareness of-
 
 
    (a) current electoral systems in the United Kingdom and any pending such systems, together with such matters connected with any such existing or pending systems as the Commission may determine;
 
    (b) current systems of local government and national government in the United Kingdom and any pending such systems; and
 
    (c) the institutions of the European Union.
      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1) any system such as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection is pending at a time when arrangements for giving effect to it have been made by any enactment but the arrangements are not yet in force.
 
      (3) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to local government elections, or to local government, in Scotland; but in paragraph (b) of that subsection the reference to national government includes (in addition to the government of the United Kingdom) the government of parts of the United Kingdom for which there are devolved legislatures.
 
      (4) The Commission shall perform their functions under subsection (1) in such manner as they think fit but may, in particular, do so by-
 
 
    (a) carrying out programmes of education or information to promote public awareness of any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1); or
 
    (b) making grants to other persons or bodies for the purpose of enabling them to carry out such programmes.
      (5) Any grant under subsection (4)(b) may be made subject to such conditions as the Commission consider appropriate.
 
      (6) The total expenditure incurred in any financial year by the Commission in performing their functions under subsection (1) (whether by making grants or otherwise) shall not exceed such sum as is for the time being specified for the purposes of this subsection by an order made by the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury.
 
      (7) The Scottish Ministers may by order provide that, despite subsection (3), the Commission may perform the functions conferred by this section in relation to local government elections or to local government in Scotland.
 
      (8) Subsection (6) shall not apply to the expenditure incurred by the Commission in performing their functions exercisable by virtue of an order made by the Scottish Ministers under subsection (7); but such expenditure shall not exceed such sum as is for the time being specified for the purposes of this subsection in an order made by the Scottish Ministers.
 
      (9) The Scottish Ministers shall reimburse the Commission for any expenditure incurred by them which is attributable to the exercise of any of functions mentioned in subsection (8).
 
      (10) Section 153(5) shall apply to an order made by the Scottish Ministers under this section as it applies to an order made by the Secretary of State under this Act and the reference in that section to enactments shall include a reference to any enactment comprised in or in an instrument made under an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
 
      (11) The power of the Scottish Ministers to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the Scottish Parliament.
 
 
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) a chairman, and
 
    (b) not less than the appropriate number of other members,
       appointed by the Commission.
 
      (3) For the purposes of subsection (2) "the appropriate number", in relation to a Boundary Committee, is-
 
 
    (a) two, if no functions fall to be exercised by the Committee by virtue of section 17(1), section 18(1) or section 19(1) (as the case may be); and
 
    (b) four, if any functions fall to be so exercised.
      (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 Commission shall, where any functions fall to be exercised by a Boundary Committee as mentioned in subsection (3), so exercise their powers of appointment under this section and section 14 as to secure-
 
 
    (a) that at least one of the members of the Committee is a person with experience of local government matters in England, Scotland or Wales (as the case may be); and
 
    (b) that, in the case of the Boundary Committee for Wales, at least one of the members of the Committee is a person able to speak the Welsh language.
      (6) 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) A person shall not be appointed as a Deputy Electoral Commissioner if he is a person who (by virtue of section 3(4)) may not be appointed as an Electoral Commissioner.
 
      (4) The functions of a Deputy Electoral Commissioner are limited to serving as a member of any Boundary Committee to which he is appointed.
 
      (5) Schedule 1 contains further provisions about Deputy Electoral Commissioners.
 
Transfer of functions of Boundary Commissions.     15. - (1) The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 shall have effect subject to the amendments specified in Part I of Schedule 3, by virtue of which-
 
 
    (a) the functions of each of the Boundary Commissions under section 3(1) and (3) of that Act (functions with respect to keeping under review, and reporting on, representation in the House of Commons of the part of the United Kingdom with which they are concerned) are transferred to the Electoral Commission; and
 
    (b) functions with respect to-
 
      (i) the carrying out of reviews under that Act with respect to a particular part of the United Kingdom, and
 
      (ii) the submission to the Electoral Commission of proposed recommendations following any such review,
 
    are conferred on the Boundary Committee established for that part of the United Kingdom under section 13 above.
      (2) The consequential amendments of other Acts specified in Part II of Schedule 3 shall have effect.
 
      (3) A Boundary Commission shall cease to exist at such time as the Secretary of State, being satisfied that they have no further functions to perform, by order directs.
 
      (4) In this section "Boundary Commission" means one of the Boundary Commissions constituted under the 1986 Act.
 
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 (Boundary Commissions: transfer of functions).
 
      (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.
 
Transfer of functions of Local Government Commission for England.     17. - (1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision for and in connection with transferring to-
 
 
    (a) the Commission, or
 
    (b) the Boundary Committee for England,
       any of the functions of the Local Government Commission for England (in this section referred to as "the English Commission").
 
      (2) The provision made by order under subsection (1) as respects the distribution of functions between the Commission and the Boundary Committee for England shall broadly correspond to that made by Part I of Schedule 3 as respects the distribution of functions between those bodies.
 
      (3) The English Commission shall cease to exist at such time as the Secretary of State, being satisfied that they have no further functions to perform, by order directs.
 
      (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 were established or constituted.
 
 
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