Clause 56 - Register of donations to include details of nature of donation

Electoral Administration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 17 Tachwedd 2005.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I rise on this clause as a matter of convenience to ask whether the Ministers have given any further thought to the point that I raised on Second Reading. I asked about the parallel provisions under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and the Representation of the People Act 1983 for the recording of donations to Members of Parliament and the House authorities' requirements. I suggested that it might be sufficient for the Electoral Commission to have the right of audit of our internal systems in order to satisfy itself that donations, in cash or in kind, were properly recorded, rather than requiring Members to make parallel registrations of donations in two different places with slightly different criteria, which causes problems for Members. That view is shared by the Electoral Commission. It is rather complex in legislative terms, but it would be welcomed by hon. Members and by those who regulate our activities.

Photo of David Cairns David Cairns Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Scotland Office

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me this opportunity to say that I gave an undertaking in my winding-up speech on Second Reading that we would give serious consideration to his point.

It is not only members of the Committee who share the concern that the dual reporting of the matters in question with slightly different tweaks is not really necessary, and that reporting to one body, monitored by the other—whichever it happens to be—would be better.

I understand that the Standards and Privileges Committee is examining the issue, and we shall need to take a long, hard look at its findings, and move towards a more rational approach. I am happy once again to give the undertaking that I gave in the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 56 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 57 to 59 ordered to stand part of the Bill.