Eighteen councils added to pilot to boost electoral roll data accuracy
The Cabinet Office has announced that 18 more local authorities are to join a pilot that aims to shave £20m off the cost of keeping electoral registers up to date.
Pilot aims to reduce the costs of keeping the electoral roll up to date by making better use of councils' data - Photo credit: PA
Local authorities are required to carry out the canvass once a year, which costs £65m to conduct nationally.
At the moment it is done with canvass forms and house visits to ensure residents’ information is accurate, but this is a time-consuming and costly process, with councils formed to focus resources on chasing households where no information has changed.
Last month, Birmingham City Council revealed it was one of three councils involved in a pilot that would help it target only voters who need to re-register by making better use of data that it already holds.
Robert Connelly, head of electoral services at the council said at the time that it was looking at ways of “streamlining the registration system in order to provide efficiencies and value for money while ensuring that citizens can easily register and vote”.
Now, the Cabinet Office – which is funding the pilot – has announced a further 18 councils that are joining the scheme, which it says could generate cost savings of up to £20m a year if they are rolled out nationally.
The Cabinet Office said the councils – which include Salford, Camden, Derbyshire Dales, East Devon, Luton, Sunderland and Woking – had been chosen to reflect a range of geographical regions, levels of population movement and different IT suppliers.
They will be testing four different models of canvassing, including existing methods, as well as letters, email and phone.
Chris Skidmore, minister for the constitution said that the government needed to take advantage of new and emerging technologies to improve the process.
“We have already brought in huge changes to our electoral system with the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration and now, through these pilots, we are continuing to update and improve the system,” he said.
PublicTechnology completes our round-up of the most read and significant stories of 2020
PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall picks out the big issues that might shape the year ahead. Apart from that one.
Legacy IT has accounted for 80% of additional expense, according to PAC
Minister says data was wiped during ‘standard housekeeping process’
The remote-first world has seen email being relied on more than ever as a core communication mechanism - but with 93% of IT leaders acknowledging a risk to sensitive data, what steps should be...
One Trust breaks down the modular approach of the new SCCs
In 2020 public sector organisations have been tested to a degree never experienced before. According to CrowdStrike, increasing cybersecurity attacks are an additional complication they must...