Parliamentary Question for the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government (Phil Hogan TD)
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 25/03/2014
To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the procedures in place controlling the sale of electoral registers for use for commercial purposes by third parties; if versions of the register which are out of date may be sold; if there are any conditions put on the sale of electoral registers, in particular regarding the period of time within which the information must be used; if there is a time limit enforced beyond which the use of the information contained in the registers is not permitted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Under section 13A of the Electoral Act 1992 registration authorities are required to prepare and publish annually an edited version of the register of electors in addition to the full register. Under rule 14A (2) of the Second Schedule to the 1992 Act, registration authorities may supply on request to any person a copy of the edited register or part of that register in printed or electronic format on payment of a fee, as set out in rule 14(2) of that Schedule. The implementation of these provisions is a matter for the registration authorities. While the Electoral Act 1992 does not set out any specific timeframe within which the edited register may be sold, the edited register is published annually on 1 February and comes into force on the fourteenth day after publication.
The relevant provisions are aimed at ensuring that the full register is used solely for electoral or other statutory purposes, while permitting registration details to be used for commercial or other purposes, through the edited register, with the consent of the persons concerned. The edited register, therefore, contains only the names of persons who have no objection to their details being used for purposes other than electoral or other statutory purposes. It is an offence to use the full register except for electoral or other statutory purposes.