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SOLACE Annual Summit DS4: Democracy ‘What CX’s need to know / ask ahead of the 2015 Parliamentary Election’ Sponsored by:

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Presentation on theme: "SOLACE Annual Summit DS4: Democracy ‘What CX’s need to know / ask ahead of the 2015 Parliamentary Election’ Sponsored by:"— Presentation transcript:

1 SOLACE Annual Summit DS4: Democracy ‘What CX’s need to know / ask ahead of the 2015 Parliamentary Election’ Sponsored by:

2 Chair – Dr Dave Smith, Chair SOLACE Elections and Democracy Board Chief Executive Sunderland City Council Today’s Panel: Mark Heath, Director of Corporate Services, South Hampton City Council Alex Thomas, Head of Elections and Parliament Division, Cabinet Office Jo Miller, Chief Executive, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council Simon Verdon, Managing Director, Democracy Counts Welcome to the Session

3 Overview of role and current issues from each of our panel members Discussion Questions 10 key pointers Aims for the session

4 UKPGEs 2015 10 Things to ask and/or check…..

5 1.Be clear on your Role as Returning Officer – independent from Council. Consequences of that role, criminal and civil liability. Insurance cover for locals?? 2.Impact of other things – IER, reductions in capacity and resilience? 3.Funding issues – funding from different sources for different elections, have a budget plan 4.Pre planning – project plan, risk register, regular contact / liaison with team. Plan how you will engage but also how you will pace yourself and the team from now till polling day 5.Involvement at key points – nominations, polling day, count etc

6 6.Awareness of legal regime – it is a legal regime. Basic requirements around ballot papers and printing(lesson learnt from 2014). Access to advice you may need and when. Who is on your mobile? Legal advisor, EC, RO colleagues 7.Not just what you do but how you do it….. 8.Some refereeing /diplomacy skills may be required! Also, you may need to put yourself in harms way - briefings for Candidates and Agents. Awareness of local issues, candidates standing etc 9.Media management 10.Day job issues cf RO role

7 The 2015 UK Parliamentary General Election Alex Thomas Deputy Director, Elections and Parliament

8 General Election Project Board Governance 8 Electoral Policy Coordination Group (EPCG) Cabinet Office Electoral Commission Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) Other Government Departments Devolved Administration Senior Returning Officers (ROs) Cross Government Officials (including Crown Court of the Clerk in Chancery, Press Office and Legal) Planning FundingLegislation Risks Electoral Commission Working Group Electoral Commission Cabinet Office Electoral Services Managers Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) Other Government Departments EPCG (Officials) Meeting Cabinet Office DCLG Home Office DEFRA Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Offices Cross-Government strategy and coordination of polls Detailed legislation and policy Senior stakeholders meeting

9 1. Acting Returning Officers already designated 2. Way to request funding 3. No changes to be made to Parliamentary boundaries for this election 4. Requirement to start counting 4 hours after close of poll 9 The same as last time (mostly...)

10 1.Changes to the design of the ballot papers – clearer and numbers removed 2. Changes to conduct legislation: – includes removing barriers to early start to counting (secondary legislation, affirmative SI) 3. Royal Mail Service Level Agreement for delivery of candidate mailings delivered at public expense – to be updated 4.Funding Review – new scrutiny process as used for Europeans –6 month deadline for claims 5. Candidates spending limit 6. Close of poll (already in place) 10 Proposed changes from last time

11 Funding Seeking more precise allocations and to maximise value for money. Estimated total cost of 2014 European elections - £110m Historically, funding provision has consistently exceeded costs by around £10m. Incurs an interest cost to the taxpayer Moved to a more evidence based / previous expenditure approach Less onerous scrutiny process Challenges: Treasury concerns at increasing costs. Ensuring transparency and effective scrutiny. Resilience of electoral services. Future opportunities: Joint working, use of IT, central procurement contracts, a more consistent approach across the UK. 11

12 1.Skills 2.Electoral fraud allegations in the media 3.Level of combination (UK Parliamentary, local, Parish and [for some] Mayoral [plus for the very unlucky] Neighbourhood Planning elections) 4.Supplier capacity and capability 5.Individual Electoral Registration: the first major poll with new systems and IT 12 Challenges

13 Jo Miller, Chief Executive, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

14 Register Accuracy and Polling Management: Technology Can and Should Help

15 The IER Challenge Voter Registration has and is undergoing the largest change since the introduction of the Universal Franchise in 1918. With IER now in place, is your Electoral Register accurate, and can your teams support the business processes ahead of the 2015 Westminster Election?

16 Part of the changes to support IER


18 Technology Can and Should Help Modern channels of communication are not being used enough to reach voters, and data mining is proving to be a missed opportunity Whilst “Unconfirmed” electors will remain in the register for the General Election, you will have to chase each “non responder” up to 28 times before 7 th May 2015 in an attempt for an accurate register. Old Voter Registration software systems are struggling to cope with IER as they were written before the Internet !

19 Working Example Bedford Borough Council have equipped their 70 canvassers with tablets. They are: Accessing real time information on performance, and have made 17,000 visits in their first attempts. They are merging the process of IER and HEF to get a more accurate register and have done this in 1 stage using tablets (funding them from postage savings) They also have in place a mechanism to deliver postal voters and record the time/date/location in tablets making the “last mile” not just a Royal Mail Function

20 Working Example (Continued) The same devices can use the devices to Electronically Mark Registers and CNL’s and Manage Ballot Paper Accounts. They will likely use these in parallel to paper. Bedford could be the first in the UK to have access to real time demographics and turnout as it happens in their area to see during polling day who has and hasn’t taken part (accepting the sensitivity of this information) The solution has inbuilt ‘lone worker’ tracking and support in place The field worker can make service request whilst on the doorstep

21 Demographic INSIGHT

22 “…Hindsight is 20/20…” With your encouragement, your teams can lose the paper and gain More Insight. It will save you money And improve your accuracy

23 Discussion Overview 10 Key Pointers Next Steps…… feedback into SOLACE Elections and Democracy Board and Network SOLACE Publication summarising Policy Area Summary

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