05 Mar 2013
Gareth Halliwell, who has worked extensively in the private sector across the world, will join the Electoral Commission – the independent election and party finance watchdog – as the new Electoral Commissioner with responsibility for Wales.
The UK Parliament approved a motion to appoint Mr Halliwell, following a selection process overseen by the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission. The motion passed by the House of Commons presents the new Commissioner for appointment by Her Majesty the Queen. It is anticipated that Mr Halliwell will begin his term of office in March 2013.
Mr Halliwell replaces Ian Kelsall OBE, whose term came to an end in December 2012. Commenting on his appointment Mr. Halliwell said: "I am looking forward to joining the Electoral Commission at what is an incredibly exciting and challenging time for democracy in Wales. Not only do we have a number of important electoral events to work towards over the coming years, but also there will be a continued focus on the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration which will be a major change to the way we register to vote.
"I look forward to working with our partners in the electoral community across the country in ensuring that voters in Wales can continue to have trust and confidence in the democratic process."
Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission, said: "I am delighted that Gareth has been proposed as a new Commissioner. The wealth of expertise he brings the Commission from his private sector background will be invaluable in setting the priorities for the Commission in Wales over the next few years.
"I would also like to thank Ian Kelsall OBE for his contribution to the Commission and wish him well for the future."
For further information please contact the Wales Press Office on 02920 346810 or out of hours on 07917 038553.
Notes to Editors
- The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK's democratic process. We regulate party and election finance, set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and accuracy of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).
- With a background in engineering and project management, followed by a long and varied career at senior executive and board level in mainly the drinks industry, Gareth Halliwell has extensive experience in developing and delivering leading-edge business strategies with multi-million pound profit and loss responsibility in international companies based in UK and abroad. He also has specific knowledge and expertise in leading major operational, capital investment and change management programmes across an international spectrum.The greater part of his career has been with Guinness/Diageo Plc. He has multicultural commercial and social experience, having lived and worked in many countries around the world. He returned to Wales, his place of birth and education, nearly four years ago where he now pursues his business and other interests from his home base.
- The selection process for Commissioners is handled by the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission, and not by the Electoral Commission itself. The UK Parliament Speaker's Committee selected Mr Halliwell from a number of candidates and a report on the process the Committee undertook can be found here: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmspeak/937/93702.htm