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Government Employees (Overseas Service)

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1978

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service what advice and notification he gives to Government employees, permanent and contractual, who are serving overseas for periods in excess of one year as to their electoral registration rights when the electoral lists are being compiled; and if he will make a statement.

The Representation of the People Act 1949 provided for Crown servants abroad and their wives, if they were living abroad with them, to be included in an electoral register in the United Kingdom as service voters. The Representation of the People Act 1969 extended this to the husbands of women Crown servants, who are living abroad with their wives.The detailed arrangements for the inclusion of civil servants and their spouses in an electoral register are set out in the Civil Service pay and conditions of service code, which is available to individual members of staff: an explanatory leaflet setting out the procedures is issued to United Kingdom-based officers who are being sent abroad for six months or more.

In essence, the arrangements provide for eligible officers and their spouses to complete a service declaration form on first going abroad, with a view to being included in an electoral register in the United Kingdom; and for this declaration to be renewed annually. When completed, these declaration forms are forwarded by the officer's Department to the appropriate electoral registration officer for inclusion in the electoral register.