Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) has issued a document for local authorities on the Annual Canvas and data sharing with the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO).
The publication was produced with the cooperation of the Association of Electoral Administrators and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives. The two organisations both represent Returning and Electoral Registration Officers.
The document follows reports that in some authorities (especially within two tier areas), EROs are having difficulty accessing data on the basis of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 or other statutory provisions which bar access to data without taking into account regulations 23, 35 and 35A of the Representation of the People Regulations 2001 (“the Regulations”).
"There is also an additional concern raised against giving access to data where the Regulations are acknowledged, but the provisions relating to inspecting and taking copies are applied verbatim without consideration of the practical application....," it says.
The aim of the document is to assist each organisation’s memberships and their authorities with data sharing between any given department and the ERO for the purpose of the Annual Canvass and the ERO's duties generally.
2. The Annual Canvass
3. Data Sharing Obstacles for EROs
4. The Law
5. Two Tier Authorities and Data Sharing Protocols
6. Data Protection and GDPR
8. Further Information
10. Appendix: Information Sharing Agreement – Template for EROs
The document is intended for use by local authorities and EROs in England and Wales.