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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006

Section 7: Data collection

44.This section amends Schedule 2 to the 1983 Act, which details the types of provision which may be contained in regulations as to registration. It enables regulations to be made that give the CEO the power to obtain information from public authorities to help him to meet the relevant registration objectives. This is intended to help the CEO to track changes to the relevant circumstances of individuals on the electoral register (such as their name and address); to identify people who are not on the register but may be entitled to be; and to track the point at which “attainers” (individuals aged 16 or 17) will become eligible to be registered. The CEO will then approach these individuals to invite them to update their entry, or to register.

45.This section makes clear that data can only be provided to the CEO under the regulations for the purpose of assisting him to meet the relevant registration objectives.

46.There are safeguards on the onward transmission of this data. The regulations may only permit the data to be passed to a third party for the purpose of the registration objectives or criminal or civil proceedings. The section also enables the regulations to make it an offence (punishable on summary conviction by a fine of up to £5000) to disclose this information in breach of the safeguards.

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