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Dear Electoral Commission,

Can you tell me how many public comments were made in regards to the applicaion to register Aspire as a political party?

Can you publish the assessment of the application? Can you tell me which officer considered the applicaion or was there a panel?

Can you tell me in light of past failings of the Electoral Commission to monitor Tower Hamlets First which was later removed as a political party what measures have been put in to make sure that Aspire is monitored properly?

Yours faithfully,

Abdul Hai

Abdul Hai left an annotation ()

FOI, Electoral Commission

Dear Abdul,

 

Our Ref: FOI 014/18

 

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act dated 26
January 2018 concerning:

 

Can you tell me how many public comments were made in regards to the
application to register Aspire as a political party?

 

Can you publish the assessment of the application? Can you tell me which
officer considered the application or was there a panel?

 

The Commission aims to respond to requests for information promptly and
within the statutory timeframe of twenty working days.

 

You may expect to receive a reply sent from the Commission by 23 February
2018.

 

 

The below query does not fall within the scope of Freedom of Information:

 

Can you tell me in light of past failings of the Electoral Commission to
monitor Tower Hamlets First which was later removed as a political party
what measures have been put in to make sure that Aspire is monitored
properly?

 

Please let me know if you would like me to forward this to our Party
Election Finance Team and they may be able to help you with this query.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Humayra Siddika

Information Management Adviser

The Electoral Commission

3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

[1]electoralcommission.org.uk

[2]yourvotematters.co.uk

 

[3]Twitter | [4]Facebook | [5]Blog

 

References

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FOI, Electoral Commission

2 Attachments

Dear Abdul Hai,

 

 

Our Ref: FOI 014/18

 

Thank you for your email to the Electoral Commission dated 26 January
2018.

 

The Commission aims to respond to requests for information promptly and
has done so within the statutory timeframe of twenty working days.

 

Your request is in bold below followed by our response.

 

1.    Can you tell me how many public comments were made in regards to the
application to register Aspire as a political party?

 

2.    Can you publish the assessment of the application? Can you tell me
which officer considered the application or was there a panel?

 

Our response is as follows:

 

We hold the information you have requested.

 

Question 1

 

42 comments were received by the Commission in regards to the application
to register Aspire as a political party.

 

Question 2

 

We have released to you two documents.

 

The first is the decision record relating to the party’s application.

 

The Commission assesses all applications to register political parties
carefully against the requirements set out in the Political Parties,
Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA).

 

A registration application is assessed initially by the Registration Team.
The member of the Registration Team that conducts that initial assessment
makes a recommendation to either approve or reject that application based
on whether or not the application meets the PPERA requirements.  The
assessment is subsequently put to the Commission’s internal Approvals
Board, chaired by the Director of Political Finance and Regulation & Legal
Counsel who takes the final decision on an application. The decision
record thus outlines the final decision on a registration application
along with comments from the Approvals Board, as well as the assessment
conducted by the Registration Team.

 

The Commission’s internal Approvals Board is made up of senior Commission
staff and is chaired by the Director of Political Finance and Regulation &
Legal Counsel. Below is a list of the Approvals Board members for the
Aspire application assessment:

·         Bob Posner - Director of Political Finance and Regulation &
Legal Counsel

·         Craig Westwood – Director of Communications & Research

·         Louise Edwards – Head of Regulation

·         Tom Hawthorn  – Head of Policy

·         Andy O’Neill – Head of Electoral Commission - Scotland

·         Rhydian Thomas – Head of Electoral Commission - Wales

·         Ann Watt – Head of Electoral Commission – Northern Ireland

·         Ben Wilkinson – Head of External Communications

·         Senior Regulatory Lawyer

 

The second document which we have released is the decision record relating
to the party’s financial scheme.

 

In order to be registered a party must have adopted a financial scheme,
approved by the Commission, that demonstrates how the party will comply
with the legal requirements of PPERA. Aspire’s financial scheme was
assessed separately from the other components of the party’s application,
hence the second document. Whilst financial schemes are assessed by the
Registration Team, when assessed separately a final decision is made by
the Approvals Board chair without input from other Board members.

 

Exemption under section 40

 

You will notice that certain personal details have been redacted from the
documents we are releasing. This redaction is necessary because section
40(2) and (3)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) Act provides
that personal data, where its disclosure would breach one of the data
protection principles, is exempt from disclosure. The first data
protection principle states that personal data must be processed fairly
and lawfully.

 

The Commission also considers that it would be unfair to release the names
and personal contact details of junior officials, who were not employed in
public facing roles and did not act as spokespersons for their employer,
as those individuals would have a reasonable expectation that this
personal data would not be disclosed to the general public.  Other
personal data has been withheld as it relates to sensitive personal data
of identifiable, living individuals.  

 

I trust that this information satisfies your request. The Commission
strives to be an open, transparent authority, but in some circumstances we
cannot responsibly release requested information, and we ask for your
understanding in this regard.

 

If you are not satisfied with this response, please note that the
Commission operates a review procedure, details of which can be found on
the Commission website at:
[1]http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/ab...

 

Please also note that if you have exhausted all internal Commission review
procedures and you are still not satisfied you have the right to appeal to
the Information Commissioner. Details of this procedure can be found on
the ICO website: [2]https://ico.org.uk/

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Ashley

Ashley Lardner
Information, Knowledge and Systems Manager
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
[3][Electoral Commission request email]
[4]electoralcommission.org.uk
[5]yourvotematters.co.uk

[6]Twitter | [7]Facebook | [8]Blog

 

 

 

References

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2. https://ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[Electoral Commission request email]
4. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/
5. https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/
6. https://twitter.com/ElectoralCommUK
7. https://www.facebook.com/electoralcommis...
8. http://ukelectoralcommission.wordpress.c...

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