£11 million saved as electors database plan abandoned
19 Jul 2011 02:10 PM
Plans to create an expensive database of electors are to be abandoned saving taxpayers more than £11m, the Government announced yesterday.
The Co-ordinated Online Record of Electors (CORE) was legislated for in 2006 by the Electoral Administration Act, and intended to make it easier for political parties to verify the legitimacy of their donors. However, the provisions were never commenced and the legislation will now be repealed. The database, which would have been administered by a new independent public body, would have cost an estimated £11.4 million to build and £2.7 million per annum to run.
Mark Harper, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, said:
The costs of building and running the database are disproportionate to its potential benefits.
“Continuing with plans to create CORE would be at odds with the Government’s commitment to rolling back the state and ensuring we are always getting value for money for the taxpayer. It is therefore right that CORE should be abandoned.
The CORE was intended to provide a single source of electoral registration information, principally to help political parties who are required to provide information on the current status of a potential donor’s entry in the electoral register.
Under the current system, Electoral Registration Officers are already required to supply a revised version of the electoral register to political parties on request and this will remain in place. The Government will work with the Electoral Commission and others to consider other, less costly, ways to improve the provision of electoral registration information.
Notes to editors
The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires a political party not to accept a donation if the person making the donation, at the time it is received by the party, is not a permissible donor. In the case of a donation from an individual, a permissible donor is defined in the Act as ‘an individual registered in an electoral register’.