The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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Regulated entities

Legal basis for processing data

Our regulatory functions are set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. These functions require us to collect and process personal data. We do this under the legal basis that the processing is necessary for our public task which is set out in UK law. For example, maintaining a register of political parties across the UK and publishing donations and loans.

Regulated entities include political parties, minor parties, non-party campaigners, permitted participants, regulated donees and unincorporated associations.

What information we collect and why

Registration of political parties and maintenance of the register of parties

When registering, regulated entities need to provide us with some information about their organisation. What information the entity will need to provide depends on what type of entity they are and what type of application they are making.

As an example, depending on the entity and the application, the information required may include but is not limited to:

  • a financial scheme
  • a constitution
  • the names of the persons who will fill the roles required by the legislation and their address
  • the names of other participators involved in the entity as required by the legislation
  • the address of the entity

We may also ask the regulated entity to provide further information in relation to their application as necessary to undertake our public task which is set out in UK law.

Some entities may need to confirm their registered details annually, as well as keep us updated throughout the year with any changes to their registered details so that we can ensure that the information we hold, including person information, is accurate. This improves the accuracy of the register and meets your rights concerning rectification and in some cases erasure.

We have a statutory duty to make certain registers of regulated entities available to the public and we do this by publishing those registers on our website.

Financial returns

Regulated entities must submit financial returns to us, including statement of accounts, party spending relating to elections and referendums and details of donations and loans. These returns will contain personal data about party or campaign officials, suppliers, lenders and donors.

Financial returns may contain information that would reveal a Data Subject’s political views and is therefore considered to be special category personal data. The condition for processing  this type of data is that it is in the substantial public interest and has a basis in UK law under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

We have a statutory duty to make financial return details available to the public and we do this by publishing information on our website.

We encourage regulated entities to submit financial returns via our secure online system. We host this system on our network and control access to information via individual log in details. We also log changes to data within the system for audit purposes.

Publishing details from regulated entities

We publish details of registered entities’ donations and loans, annual statement of accounts, campaign and referendum spending on our online database. Details include:

  • names of people appointed to official roles
  • names of donors
  • party address
  • name and address of suppliers for sole traders

Sharing information from regulated entities

We may share this information with our enforcement team to determine if we need to investigate a breach of political finance rules.

Your rights

We may not be able to meet some rights, for example restriction and objection, because this processing is part of our statutory function. We will only process the data for the purposes defined in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 .

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