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Mr Gary Streeter - Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission intend to provide an Indemnity for the Chief Counting Officer, Deputy Chief Counting Officer, Regional Counting Officers and Counting Officers at the forthcoming Referendum on membership of the European Union.

The European Union Referendum Act 2015 requires a referendum to be held on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union. Read in conjunction with the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the responsibility for the conduct of the referendum will rest with the Chief Counting Officer (who is the Chair of the Electoral Commission), the Deputy Chief Counting Officer, Regional Counting Officers and Counting Officers (who are mainly local authority Chief Executives).

Under this indemnity the Electoral Commission will carry the uninsured risks related to these roles whilst delivering the functions required of them by the European Union Referendum Act 2015. This is consistent with arrangements for similar national polls and is in accordance with best practice published in Managing Public Money.

A minute will be presented to Parliament today regarding the contingent liability arising as a result of this indemnity. Based on their experience of other national polls for which similar provision has been made, the Commission judges the likelihood of the potential liability being called to be very low.


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