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The Representation of the People (Electronic Communications and Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2018

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PART 1General

Citation and commencement

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Representation of the People (Electronic Communications and Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2018.

(2) They come into force on the day after the day on which they are made.

PART 2Amendment of the Representation of the People Acts

Amendment of the Representation of the People Act 1983: digital registration in Northern Ireland

2.—(1) The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 10ZB (the relevant registration objectives (Northern Ireland))(1)—

(a)in subsection (4)(d), for “subsections (5) and (6)” substitute “subsection (5)”,

(b)in subsection (5)—

(i)at the end of paragraph (a) insert “or”,

(ii)after paragraph (a) insert—

(aa)the registration was made following an application for registration submitted through the UK digital service.,

(c)after subsection (7) insert—

(7A) In subsection (5)(aa), “the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF(2), and the reference to an application for registration submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

(3) After section 10ZE (removal of electors in Great Britain from the register)(3) insert—

Digital registration in Northern Ireland

10ZF.(1) The Minister of the Crown responsible for providing the UK digital service shall have the following functions in connection with providing that service—

(a)acting as an intermediary for the purposes of the receipt of online applications for registration in respect of addresses in Northern Ireland on behalf of the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland;

(b)the transmission of such applications to the Chief Electoral Officer.

(2) Where it is possible for electronic communications or electronic storage to be used for any of the purposes specified in subsection (3), such communication or storage may, subject to any enactment (including any conditions imposed by any enactment), be used instead of any other form of communication or storage.

(3) The purposes are—

(a)the exercise by the Minister of the Crown responsible for providing the UK digital service of any function conferred on the Minister—

(i)by subsection (1), or

(ii)under paragraph 1A of Schedule 2(4) in connection with applications for registration in respect of addresses in Northern Ireland;

(b)anything done through the UK digital service in connection with an application for registration in respect of an address in Northern Ireland.

(4) In this section—

“electronic communication” has the meaning given in section 15(1) of the Electronic Communications Act 2000;

“enactment” includes subordinate legislation;

“the UK digital service” means a digital service provided by a Minister of the Crown for the registration of electors, and the reference in subsection (3)(b) to anything done through the UK digital service shall be read as a reference to anything done using that service as an intermediary.

(4) In section 10A (maintenance of the registers: registration of electors in Northern Ireland)(5)—

(a)after subsection (1) insert—

(1ZA) A person who makes an application for registration in respect of an address in Northern Ireland may submit it through the UK digital service, unless it is an application in pursuance of—

(a)residence determined in accordance with section 6 (residence: merchant seamen),

(b)a declaration of local connection, or

(c)an overseas elector’s declaration.,

(b)in subsection (1A), for “subsection (1B)” substitute “subsections (1B) and (1C)”,

(c)after subsection (1B) insert—

(1C) The requirement mentioned in subsection (1A)(a) does not apply to an application submitted through the UK digital service.,

(d)in subsection (9), after the definition of “resident” insert—

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF, and references to an application submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

(5) After section 10A (registration of electors in Northern Ireland) insert—

Register of electors in Northern Ireland: digital registration number

10B.(1) Where, following receipt of an application for registration in respect of an address in Northern Ireland submitted through the UK digital service, the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland determines that the applicant is entitled to be registered in the register, the Chief Electoral Officer shall allocate a unique reference number (“a digital registration number”) to the applicant, if no such number has previously been allocated to that person.

(2) Subsection (3) applies—

(a)where a digital registration number has been allocated to an applicant under subsection (1), or

(b)where, following an application for registration in respect of an address in Northern Ireland submitted through the UK digital service by a person to whom a digital registration number has previously been allocated, the Chief Electoral Officer determines that the applicant’s registration in the register is to be amended in accordance with the application.

(3) Where this subsection applies, the Chief Electoral Officer shall send the applicant a notification by post of the digital registration number allocated to that applicant together with an explanation of—

(a)the fact that the digital registration number is required for an application for an absent vote pursuant to section 6(1)(bba)(ii) or 7(1)(bba)(ii) of the Representation of the People Act 1985(6), and

(b)how a further notification of the digital registration number may be obtained if the applicant requires it.

(4) If, after a notification has been sent to a person under subsection (3) or a further notification issued under subsection (6), the person requires a further notification of the digital registration number the person may apply to the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland for a further notification of the number.

(5) An application under subsection (4) must set out—

(a)the applicant’s—

(i)name,

(ii)date of birth, and

(iii)national insurance number or a statement that the applicant does not have one (giving the reason why), and

(b)the address in respect of which the applicant is, or has applied to be, registered.

(6) Where the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland is satisfied that the information contained in an application under subsection (4) corresponds with the information held by the Chief Electoral Officer in relation to the applicant, the Chief Electoral Officer shall issue a further notification of the digital registration number to the applicant.

(7) A further notification under subsection (6) shall be issued by—

(a)giving it to the applicant in person, or

(b)sending it to the applicant—

(i)by post, or

(ii)if the applicant has given an email address in the application for registration, by email to that address.

(8) A notification or further notification by post pursuant to subsection (3) or (7)(b)(i) shall be sent—

(a)in the case of a person who is registered, or has made an application for registration, in pursuance of a service declaration, to the address given on the application form as the person’s present address or, if the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied the applicant has moved to another address, to that address, or

(b)in any other case, to the address in respect of which the person is, or is entitled to be, registered.

(9) In this section, “the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF, and references to an application for registration submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

(6) In section 13A (alteration of registers)(7)—

(a)after subsection (2) insert—

(2ZA) A person who makes an application under subsection (1)(a) in respect of an address in Northern Ireland may submit it through the UK digital service, unless it is an application in pursuance of—

(a)residence determined in accordance with section 6 (residence: merchant seamen),

(b)a declaration of local connection, or

(c)an overseas elector’s declaration.,

(b)in subsection (2A) for “subsection (2B)” substitute “subsections (2B) and (2C)”,

(c)after subsection (2B) insert—

(2C) The requirement mentioned in subsection (2A)(a) does not apply to an application submitted through the UK digital service.,

(d)after subsection (6) insert—

(7) In this section, “the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF, and references to an application submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

(7) In Schedule 1, in rule 45 (the count)(8), in paragraph (2A)—

(a)after “Act”, in the first place where it appears, insert “or section 6(1ZA) or 7(1ZA) of the Representation of the People Act 1985(9)”,

(b)for “section 10(4A)(a)” to the end substitute “section 6(1)(bb) or (bba)(i) or 7(1)(bb) or (bba)(i) of the Representation of the People Act 1985”.

Amendment of the Representation of the People Act 1985: absent voting applications following online registration through the UK digital service

3.—(1) The Representation of the People Act 1985(10) is amended as follows.

(2) In section 6 (absent vote at elections for an indefinite period)(11), in subsection (1)—

(a)in paragraph (bb), at the beginning insert “in the case of an applicant other than one who is or will be digitally registered,”,

(b)after paragraph (bb) insert—

(bba)in the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, the registration officer is satisfied that the application—

(i)is signed, and

(ii)includes the digital registration number allocated to the applicant by the officer,.

(3) After section 6(1) insert—

(1ZA) In the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, if the registration officer is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of blindness or any other disability of that person or because that person is unable to read, the officer may make a determination to that effect.

(4) After section 6(6) insert—

(7) In this section, a reference to a person who is or will be digitally registered is a reference to a person whose registration in the register of parliamentary electors is or will be pursuant to an application submitted through the UK digital service.

(8) In this section—

“digital registration number” has the same meaning as in section 10B(1) of the principal Act(12);

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF of the principal Act, and the reference to an application submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

(5) In section 7 (absent vote at a particular election and absent voters list)(13), in subsection (1)—

(a)in paragraph (bb), at the beginning insert “in the case of an applicant other than one who is or will be digitally registered,”,

(b)after paragraph (bb) insert—

(bba)in the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, the registration officer is satisfied that the application—

(i)is signed, and

(ii)includes the digital registration number allocated to the applicant by the officer,.

(6) After section 7(1) insert—

(1ZA) In the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, if the registration officer is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of blindness or any other disability of that person or because that person is unable to read, the officer may make a determination to that effect.

(7) After section 7(5) insert—

(6) In this section, a reference to a person who is or will be digitally registered is a reference to a person whose registration in the register of parliamentary electors is or will be pursuant to an application submitted through the UK digital service.

(7) In this section—

“digital registration number” has the same meaning as in section 10B(1) of the principal Act;

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF of the principal Act, and the reference to an application submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

PART 3Amendment of other enactments (except the Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008)

Amendment of the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962: preliminary proceedings and conduct of the count

4.  In Schedule 5 to the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962, in rule 45 (preliminary proceedings and conduct of the count)(14), in paragraph (2A)—

(a)after “1989)” insert “or paragraph 1(1ZA) or 2(1ZA) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Local Elections (Northern Ireland) Order 1985(15)”,

(b)for “section 10(4A)(a)” to the end substitute “paragraph 1(1)(bb) or (bba)(i) or 2(1)(bb) or (bba)(i) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Local Elections (Northern Ireland) Order 1985(16)”.

Amendment of the Local Elections (Northern Ireland) Order 1985: absent vote at local elections

5.—(1) Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Local Elections (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1 (absent vote at local elections for indefinite period)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (1)—

(i)in paragraph (bb), at the beginning insert “in the case of an applicant other than one who is or will be digitally registered,”,

(ii)after paragraph (bb) insert—

(bba)in the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the application—

(i)is signed, and

(ii)includes the digital registration number allocated to the applicant by the Chief Electoral Officer,,

(b)after sub-paragraph (1) insert—

(1ZA) In the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, if the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of blindness or any other disability of that person or because that person is unable to read, the Chief Electoral Officer may make a determination to that effect.,

(c)after sub-paragraph (6) insert—

(7) In this paragraph, a reference to a person who is or will be digitally registered is a reference to a person whose registration in the register of local electors is or will be pursuant to an application submitted through the UK digital service.

(8) In this paragraph—

“digital registration number” has the same meaning as in section 10B(1) of the 1983 Act;

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF of the 1983 Act, and the reference to an application submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

(3) In paragraph 2 (absent vote at a particular local election and absent voters list)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (1)—

(i)in paragraph (bb), at the beginning insert “in the case of an applicant other than one who is or will be digitally registered,”,

(ii)after paragraph (bb) insert—

(bba)in the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the application—

(i)is signed, and

(ii)includes the digital registration number allocated to the applicant by the Chief Electoral Officer,,

(b)after sub-paragraph (1) insert—

(1ZA) In the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, if the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of blindness or any other disability of that person or because that person is unable to read, the Chief Electoral Officer may make a determination to that effect.,

(c)after sub-paragraph (5) insert—

(6) In this paragraph, a reference to a person who is or will be digitally registered is a reference to a person whose registration in the register of local electors is or will be pursuant to an application submitted through the UK digital service.

(7) In this paragraph—

“digital registration number” has the same meaning as in section 10B(1) of the 1983 Act;

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF of the 1983 Act, and the reference to an application submitted through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

Amendment of the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act 1989: application and modification of the 1983 Act

6.  In Schedule 1 to the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act 1989(17), in Part 1 (provisions applied), in the list of provisions applied, in the entry beginning “Sections 9”—

(a)after “10ZB,” insert “10ZF,”,

(b)after “10A,” insert “10B,”.

Amendment of the Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) Order 2001: preliminary proceedings and conduct of the count

7.  In Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) Order 2001(18), in the table, in the right-hand column, in the entry for rule 44B(4) (preliminary proceedings and conduct of the count)(19)—

(a)after “1989)” insert “or paragraph 1(1ZA) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the 1985 Order or section 7(1ZA) of the 1985 Act”,

(b)for “section 10(4A)(a)” to the end substitute “paragraph 1(1)(bb) or (bba)(i) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the 1985 Order or section 7(1)(bb) or (bba)(i) of the 1985 Act”.

Amendment of the Recall of MPs Act 2015 (Recall Petition) Regulations 2016: absent signing provisions

8.—(1) The Recall of MPs Act 2015 (Recall Petition) Regulations 2016(20) are amended as follows.

(2) In regulation 39 (the count), in paragraph (6)—

(a)after “Act”, in the first place where it appears, insert “or regulation 52(1A) or 54(1A)”,

(b)for “section 10(4A)(a)” to the end substitute “regulation 52(1)(d) or (da)(i) or 54(1)(d) or (da)(i)”.

(3) In regulation 52 (absent signing at any petition for an indefinite period: Northern Ireland)—

(a)in paragraph (1)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (a), after “applicant is” insert “or will be”,

(ii)in sub-paragraph (d), at the beginning insert “in the case of an applicant other than one who is or will be digitally registered,”,

(iii)after sub-paragraph (d) insert—

(da)in the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, the registration officer is satisfied that the application—

(i)is signed; and

(ii)includes the digital registration number allocated to the applicant by that officer;,

(b)after paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) In the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, if the registration officer is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of blindness or any other disability of that person or because that person is unable to read, the officer may make a determination to that effect.,

(c)after paragraph (8) insert—

(9) In this regulation, a reference to a person who is or will be digitally registered is a reference to a person whose registration in the register of parliamentary electors is or will be pursuant to an application submitted through the UK digital service.

(10) In this regulation—

“digital registration number” has the same meaning as in section 10B(1) of the 1983 Act;

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF of the 1983 Act, and the reference to an application submitted through the UK digital service is to be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

(4) In regulation 54 (absent signing at a particular petition: Northern Ireland)—

(a)in paragraph (1)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (d), at the beginning insert “in the case of an applicant other than one who is or will be digitally registered,”,

(ii)after sub-paragraph (d) insert—

(da)in the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, the registration officer is satisfied that the application—

(i)is signed; and

(ii)includes the digital registration number allocated to the applicant by that officer;,

(b)after paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) In the case of an applicant who is or will be digitally registered, if the registration officer is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for the applicant to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of blindness or any other disability of that person or because that person is unable to read, the officer may make a determination to that effect.,

(c)after paragraph (5) insert—

(6) In this regulation, a reference to a person who is or will be digitally registered is a reference to a person whose registration in the register of parliamentary electors is or will be pursuant to an application submitted through the UK digital service.

(7) In this regulation—

“digital registration number” has the same meaning as in section 10B(1) of the 1983 Act;

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF of the 1983 Act, and the reference to an application submitted through the UK digital service is to be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

PART 4Amendment of the Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008

Amendment of the Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008

9.  The Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008(21) are amended in accordance with this Part.

Interpretation: meaning of “the UK digital service”

10.  In regulation 3(1) (interpretation)—

(a)omit “and” after the definition of “registration area”,

(b)at the end insert—

“the UK digital service” has the same meaning as in section 10ZF of the 1983 Act, and references to an application submitted through the UK digital service or any other thing done through the UK digital service shall be construed in accordance with subsection (4) of that section.

Communication of applications, notices etc.

11.—(1) In regulation 5 (communication of applications, notices etc)—

(a)after “notice,” insert “reminder,”,

(b)for “representation or objection” substitute “representation, objection or any other communication that is sent”.

(2) In regulation 26 (reminders to electors registered pursuant to a declaration), in paragraph (2), after “reminder” insert “in writing”.

(3) In regulation 26A (reminders to persons who have an anonymous entry), in paragraph (2), after “reminder” insert “in writing”.

(4) In regulation 27 (applications for registration), in paragraph (7), after “applicant”, in the first place where it occurs, insert “in writing”.

(5) In regulation 30 (procedure for determining applications for registration and objections without a hearing)—

(a)in paragraph (6), for “ask for” substitute “request in writing”,

(b)in paragraph (10), after “notice” insert “in writing”,

(c)in paragraph (11), after “notice”, in the first place where it occurs, insert “in writing”,

(d)in paragraph (13), after “notice” insert “in writing”,

(e)in paragraph (14), after “notice”, in the first place where it occurs, insert “in writing”.

(6) In regulation 31 (notice of hearing), in paragraph (1), after “notice” insert “in writing”.

(7) In regulation 38 (hearing of reviews), in paragraph (2), after “notice” insert “in writing”.

(8) In regulation 38E (review of entitlement to an anonymous entry), in paragraphs (5)(b) and (7)(b), after “officer” insert “in writing”.

(9) In regulation 45 (communication of notices made on polling day), in paragraph (3), after “forward it” insert “in writing”.

(10) In regulation 62 (grant or refusal of applications), in paragraphs (1), (4) and (5), after “applicant” insert “in writing”.

(11) In regulation 63 (notice of appeal), after “notice”, in paragraph (1), in the first place where it occurs, insert “in writing”.

(12) In regulation 75 (notice of issue of postal ballot papers), in paragraph (2), after “candidate” insert “in writing”.

Contents of service declaration

12.—(1) Regulation 17 (contents of service declaration) is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph (3)—

(a)omit “and” at the end of sub-paragraph (a),

(b)at the end of sub-paragraph (b) insert “; and”,

(c)after sub-paragraph (b) insert—

(c)any staff number, payroll number or other similar identifying number of that servant.

(3) In paragraph (4), for the words from “state” to the end substitute—

state—

(a)a description of the post of that employee; and

(b)any staff number, payroll number or other similar identifying number of that employee.

Transmission of service declaration

13.—(1) Regulation 18 (transmission of service declaration) is revoked.

(2) In regulation 19 (notification by registration officer in respect of service declaration), in paragraph (2)(b), omit “or 18”.

Attestation of certain overseas electors’ declarations

14.—(1) Regulation 22 (attestation of certain overseas electors’ declarations) is revoked.

(2) In regulation 23 (notification about registration as overseas elector), in paragraph (2)(b), omit “or 22”.

Applications for registration

15.—(1) In regulation 6 (electronic signatures and related certificates), in paragraph (1), omit “, 27”.

(2) Regulation 27 (applications for registration) is amended as follows.

(3) In paragraph (1)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (b), at the beginning, insert “except in the case of a person applying to be registered in pursuance of a service declaration, a declaration of local connection or an overseas electors’ declaration,”,

(b)for sub-paragraph (c) substitute—

(c)in the case of an applicant who no longer claims to be entitled to be registered at an address in respect of which the applicant is currently registered as an elector, either—

(i)the fact that the applicant has ceased to reside at that address; or

(ii)the fact that the registration was in pursuance of a service declaration, a declaration of local connection or an overseas electors’ declaration, and the fact that the applicant is no longer entitled to make that declaration;

(ca)in the case of an applicant who has confirmed pursuant to section 10A(1A)(c)(i) or 13A(2A)(c)(i) of the 1983 Act that the applicant does not have a national insurance number, the reason why the applicant does not have it;

(cb)except in the case of a person applying to be registered in pursuance of an overseas elector’s declaration or a service declaration, the applicant’s nationality or nationalities or, if the applicant is not able to provide that information, the reason why the applicant is not able to do so;,

(c)omit sub-paragraph (d).

(4) After paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) Where an applicant has previously been known by a name other than that stated in accordance with paragraph (1)(a), the application may also state the applicant’s previous name.

(5) For paragraph (3) substitute—

(3) An application for registration shall include a declaration by the applicant that, by submitting the application or instructing another person to submit it on the applicant’s behalf, the applicant confirms that—

(a)the applicant is the person named in the application; and

(b)the information provided in the application and any declaration accompanying it is true.

(3A) Where the applicant is unable to read, the applicant shall arrange for the declaration mentioned in paragraph (3) to be read out to the applicant before the application is submitted.

(3B) Where the application is to be submitted through the UK digital service and the applicant is unable to submit it owing to a disability, the applicant may instruct a person of 18 years or over to submit it on behalf of the applicant in the applicant’s presence.

(6) In paragraph (4)—

(a)omit “to the registration officer and be signed”,

(b)omit “by the applicant”.

(7) After paragraph (4) insert—

(4A) An application for registration may include the applicant’s email address and telephone number if the applicant is willing for the registration officer to contact the applicant by such means.

(8) Omit paragraph (5).

(9) After paragraph (6) insert—

(6A) Where the registration officer provides the form on which an application for registration is made, the form shall include—

(a)the words “It is an offence to provide false information in this form”, and

(b)a statement of the maximum penalty for the offence.

(10) In paragraph (10), for “(6) to (9)” substitute “(6) and (7) to (9)”.

Retention of information in connection with an application for registration

16.  After regulation 27 (applications for registration) insert—

Retention of information in connection with an application for registration

27A.(1) In respect of any application for registration, until the application has been determined, the registration officer—

(a)shall retain the application form or, in the case of an application submitted through the UK digital service, the information contained in the application; and

(b)may retain any other documentation or information provided to the registration officer in connection with the application.

(2) After the determination of the application, the registration officer may continue to retain any information or document mentioned in paragraph (1) until such time as the officer considers that it is not required for or in connection with the exercise of the officer’s functions.

Inspection of applications and objections

17.  In regulation 29 (inspection of applications and objections)—

(a)in paragraph (1)—

(i)for “An application for registration and any objections” substitute “An entry on the list of applications for registration kept under regulation 30(2)(a) and any objection”,

(ii)after “the application” insert “to which the entry relates”,

(b)omit paragraph (2).

Procedure for determining applications for registration and objections without a hearing

18.  In regulation 30 (procedure for determining applications for registration and objections without a hearing), in paragraph (3), after “name” insert “and (if included in the application) nationality”.

Provision of information to the registration officer

19.  In regulation 42 (provision of information to the registration officer), in paragraph (4)(a), for “former” substitute “any previous”.

Verification of information provided in an application

20.  After regulation 42 (provision of information to the registration officer) insert—

Verification of information provided in an application

42A.(1) In the case of an application for registration submitted through the UK digital service, the Minister of the Crown responsible for providing the UK digital service(22) may disclose the name and any previous name, date of birth and national insurance number of the applicant given in the application to the Secretary of State.

(2) On receipt of an application for registration other than one submitted through the UK digital service, the registration officer may disclose the name and any previous name, date of birth and national insurance number of the applicant given in the application to the Secretary of State through the UK digital service.

(3) Where information has been disclosed to the Secretary of State under paragraph (1) or (2), the Secretary of State shall compare the information against—

(a)the name and any previous name, date of birth and national insurance number of individuals appearing in the following types of databases kept by the Department for Work and Pensions—

(i)databases kept for the purposes of functions relating to social security (including such information kept on behalf of the Department for Communities); and

(ii)databases relating to working tax credit, child tax credit and child benefit (being information kept on behalf of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs); and

(b)any other information contained in the databases mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) which relates to the information disclosed under paragraph (1) or (2).

(4) The Secretary of State shall disclose the results of the comparison to the registration officer through the UK digital service, and regulation 41(5) and (7) shall be disregarded for these purposes.

(5) The registration officer may take such results into account in determining the application for registration.

(6) Any person who processes the information disclosed under paragraph (1) or (2) shall do so in accordance with any requirements as to the processing of information that may have been imposed in writing by the Minister of the Crown responsible for providing the UK digital service, including requirements as to the transfer, storage, destruction and security of that information.

(7) In this regulation, “the Secretary of State” means the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Notice by registration officer of a change of address

21.  In regulation 46 (notice by registration officer of a change of address)—

(a)in paragraph (2), after “the applicant” insert “has notified the Northern Ireland registration officer that the applicant”,

(b)after paragraph (2) insert—

(3) The Northern Ireland registration officer may make a notification under paragraph (2) through the UK digital service.

Duncan of Springfield

Parliamentary under Secretary of State

Northern Ireland Office

29th May 2018

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