Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART I, ESTABLISHMENT OF ELECTORAL COMMISSION AND BODIES WITH RELATED FUNCTIONS - continued
Commission's general functions - continued

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Policy development grants.     12. - (1) For the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) "a policy development grant" is a grant to a represented registered party to assist the party with the development of policies for inclusion in any manifesto on the basis of which-
 
      (i) candidates authorised to stand by the party will seek to be elected at an election which is a relevant election for the purposes of Part II, or
 
      (ii) the party itself will seek to be so elected (in the case of such an election for which the party itself may be nominated); and
 
    (b) a registered party is "represented" if there are at least two Members of the House of Commons belonging to the party who-
 
      (i) have made and subscribed the oath required by the Parliamentary Oaths Act 1866 (or the corresponding affirmation), and
 
      (ii) are not disqualified from sitting or voting in that House.
      (2) The Commission shall submit recommendations to the Secretary of State for the terms of a scheme for the making by the Commission of policy development grants.
 
      (3) Where the Secretary of State receives recommendations under subsection (2), he shall make an order setting out such a scheme in terms which, with any modifications he considers appropriate, give effect to the recommendations.
 
      (4) The scheme shall, in particular, specify or provide for the determination of-
 
 
    (a) the parties eligible for policy development grants, and
 
    (b) how any money provided to the Commission for the making of policy development grants is to be allocated between the parties eligible for such grants.
      (5) The Commission shall keep under review the terms of any scheme under this section and shall make recommendations to the Secretary of State for any variations to the scheme which they consider appropriate.
 
      (6) Where the Secretary of State receives recommendations under subsection (5), he shall make an order giving effect, with any modifications he considers appropriate, to the recommendations.
 
      (7) Where any such modifications as are mentioned in subsection (3) or (6) would result in an order under that subsection giving effect with modifications to any recommendations of the Commission in respect of either of the matters mentioned in subsection (4), the order shall not be made without the agreement of the Commission to the modifications so far as relating to those matters.
 
      (8) The Commission shall make such grants as are provided for under any scheme under this section, and any such grants may be made subject to such conditions as (consistently with the terms of the scheme) the Commission consider appropriate; but nothing in such a scheme shall have effect to authorise the Commission to make in any financial year more than £2 million in policy development grants.
 
      (9) The Secretary of State may by order made with the consent of the Treasury vary the sum for the time being specified in subsection (8).
 
Education about electoral and democratic systems.     13. - (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 156(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.     14. - (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 18(1), section 19(1) or section 20(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 15 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.     15. - (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.     16. - (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 14 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.     17. - (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 by virtue of section 16(1).
 
      (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.
 
 
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