The Electoral Commission monitors the performance of electoral registration officers using a set of published performance standards designed to support the completeness of electoral registers. The Electoral Commission advises and works with local authorities that do not meet the standards in order to improve their performance.
My hon. Friend is on to a good point. The Electoral Commission has the power to make recommendations to electoral registration officers—after all, they are primarily responsible for concluding the registers—if they are underperforming, but it has no power to intervene and change the way that things are done. This may be something that the House might like to examine in due course.
I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is aware that, peculiarly, electoral registration officers are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, so obtaining information from them if they refuse to give it is extremely difficult. Will he examine this point, because it seems that all other local authority officers are subject to this legislation, but electoral registration officers are not?