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Electoral Commission

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what recent assessment the Speaker’s Committee has made of (a) whether the Electoral Commission is fit for purpose and (b) the Commission’s ability to manage a UK-wide referendum. (117910)

The Speaker’s Committee has a statutory obligation to satisfy itself in relation to both the Electoral Commission’s estimates and the accompanying five-year plans that, as laid before the House of Commons by the Committee, these are consistent with the economical, efficient and effective discharge by the Commission of its functions.

The Committee approved the Electoral Commission’s 2006-07 estimate and its five-year plan for 2006-07 to 2010-11 on 29 March 2006. It expects to consider proposals for the 2007-08 estimate and a five-year plan for 2007-08 to 2011-12 in the near future.

However, the statutory functions of the Speaker’s Committee do not require it to make the assessments referred to in the question, and it has therefore not done so.