Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1548)

John McGuinness

Question:

1548. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the Acts under which the authority or remit is given to a local authority or remit is given to local authority rate collectors to prepare or update the register of electors in each county without providing an interpretation of the law or regulations; if ministerial orders were used in the past to change the powers and-or duties of local rate collectors relative to the Acts; if the same system of collecting rates and updating the register of electors is used in each local authority area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18952/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Electoral Act 1992 and the Second Schedule to that Act provides that the preparation of the Register of Electors is a matter for each local registration authority. It is their duty to ensure, as far as possible, and with the cooperation of the public, the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the Register. The focus of my Department's work in relation to the Register is to support and assist registration authorities in ensuring that an appropriate legislative framework is in place.

Following the repeal of the Electoral Act 1923, rate collectors no longer have a statutory function in relation to the preparation of the register of electors. However, as employees of a registration authority they are not precluded from providing, and may be requested to provide, assistance or information with regard to the preparation of the register of electors.

Section 7 of the Local Government (Collection of Rates) Act 1924 allowed, by Ministerial order, the transfer of “powers and duties of a collector of poor-rate in relation to the valuation of rateable property, the registration of electors, the preparation of jurors lists, or any other matter unconnected with the collection of rates” to any person or persons appointed for the purpose by the local authority or to an Garda Síochana. There is one instance of an order made under Section 7 - the County Kerry (Jurors Lists and Register of Electors) Order, 1961.