Dear Electoral Commission,

Please treat this email as a Freedom of Information request.

Please could you send me all correspondence, emails, forms or reports that you hold that relate to advice or guidance provided by the electoral commission to any representatives of the campaign group Scotland in Union.

I am particularly interested in emails that relate to any discussions that may have taken place about whether the group needed to formally register with the Electoral Commission during any election or referendum's.

I am also interested in any discussions or advice provided by the Electoral Commission that relate to the declaration of large donations to this group.

I appreciate that some documentation may need to redacted in order to mitigate against data protection concerns. Please send all responses in an electronic format to this email address.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Ally Tibbitt

FOI, Electoral Commission

Dear Ally Tibbitt,
 
Our Ref: FOI 003/18
 
Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act dated 05
January 2018, concerning:
 
Please could you send me all correspondence, emails, forms or reports that
you hold that relate to advice or guidance  provided by the electoral
commission to any representatives of the campaign group Scotland in Union.
 
I am particularly interested in emails that relate to any discussions that
may have taken place about whether the group needed to formally register
with the Electoral Commission during any election or referendum's.
 
I am also interested in any discussions or advice provided by the
Electoral Commission that relate to the declaration of large donations to
this group.
 
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 Friday 02
February 2018.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Ashley
 
Ashley Lardner
Information, Knowledge and Systems Manager
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
[1][Electoral Commission request email]
[2]electoralcommission.org.uk
[3]yourvotematters.co.uk
 
[4]Twitter | [5]Facebook | [6]Blog
 
 
 
 
 

References

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

FOI, Electoral Commission

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Tibbitt,

 

Our Ref: FOI 003/18

 

Thank you for your email to the Electoral Commission dated 05 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.

 

Please could you send me all correspondence, emails, forms or reports that
you hold that relate to advice or guidance provided by the electoral
commission to any representatives of the campaign group Scotland in Union.

 

I am particularly interested in emails that relate to any discussions that
may have taken place about whether the group needed to formally register
with the Electoral Commission during any election or referendums.

 

I am also interested in any discussions or advice provided by the
Electoral Commission that relate to the declaration of large donations to
this group.

 

Our response is as follows:

 

We hold the information you have requested and this is contained in the
files attached to this response.

 

An e-mail on 6 June 2017 between Commission staff and Scotland in Union
references a meeting which took place between the Commission and Scotland
in Union on 19 June 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss
reporting requirements for non-party campaigners at the 2017 UK Parliament
election. A handwritten note was made of the meeting, however, this has
not been retained.

You will also note that in an internal e-mail dated 5 January 2018, the
Electoral Commission’s Senior Financial Reporting Adviser raised concerns
that Scotland in Union may potentially have exceeded the spending limit at
the June 2017 UK Parliament election. This issue has now been assessed by
the Commission and - given that the unexpected nature of the election
meant that the spending rules applied retrospectively and taking into
account Scotland in Union’s prompt steps to register with us, and the fact
that they desisted from further campaigning after the election was called
- we have concluded that it would not be appropriate or proportionate for
us to take any enforcement action in this regard.

Please note, some of the information contained in the attachments to this
response is personal data such as the names, and contact details of junior
staff at the Electoral Commission and Scotland in Union which is exempt
under section 40 of the FOI Act. These documents have been redacted prior
to release. Further explanation of the section 40 exemption is provided
below.

Section 40(2) and (3)(a)(i) of the FOI Act

Section 40(2) provides for an exemption where the information requested
constitutes personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 2000
(DPA), and where release of the information requested would breach one of
the data protection principles. Some of the information contained in the
requested information falls within the description of personal data as
defined by section 1 of the DPA because the information relates directly
to an identifiable living individual. Release of this information would
breach the first data protection principle, which states the information
must be processed fairly and lawfully.

 

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,

 

Humayra Siddika

Information Management Adviser

The Electoral Commission

3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

[3]electoralcommission.org.uk

[4]yourvotematters.co.uk

 

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

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/ab...
2. https://ico.org.uk/
3. https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/
4. https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/
5. https://twitter.com/ElectoralCommUK
6. https://www.facebook.com/electoralcommis...
7. http://ukelectoralcommission.wordpress.c...

Ally Tibbitt left an annotation ()

The outcome of this FOI was also published here: https://community.theferret.scot/t/scotl...

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