Terms of reference for the Wales Electoral Coordination Board

Purpose

The Wales Electoral Co-ordination Board will fulfil a key role in coordinating the planning of all Wales electoral events, activity and electoral modernisation and reform.

The work programme of the board will mainly cover elections, referendums, electoral registration and electoral modernisation.

The Board will facilitate greater collaboration between Returning Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and key partners in Wales. 

Objectives

  • Maintain the consistency and performance of electoral registration in Wales
  • Maintain the consistency of elections management in Wales
  • Support a resilient elections professionals network
  • Oversee effective training/briefing and mentoring and support programmes for electoral officers in Wales
  • Implement recommendations based on learning from electoral registration campaigns 
  • Implement recommendations on learning from elections  
  • Inform, support and enable electoral modernisation and reform with Government and key partners
  • Share best practice to ensure the resilience of the network
  • Promote public awareness and participation in electoral registration and elections 
  • Protect and promote the interests of voters in all electoral activity
  • Maintain citizen access to and satisfaction with electoral registration and elections. 
  • Ensure that electoral activity in Wales is fully bilingual 

Membership

The Board will be chaired by the Wales Regional Returning Officer or the Wales representative on the Elections Coordination and Advisory Group.

To allow the group to formally respond to specific pieces of work on certain occasions (and when appropriate to do so), the group will be comprised of members and advisors. Any formal responses will be provided on behalf of full group members.

If a member cannot attend, they should appoint a Deputy to attend in their place. In the case of a Regional Returning Officer, this could be another senior Returning Officer from that electoral region. In the case of a constituency Returning Officer, it could be a CRO from a neighbouring constituency.

Members:

  • the Chair (the Wales Regional Returning Officer)
  • five senior electoral officers (including the Chair). These should be spread across the country to ensure a geographic balance and should include:
    • Constituency Returning Officers
    • Regional Returning Officers
    • Electoral Registration Officers
    • Police Area Returning Officers
  • Chair, Welsh Language Legislation Advisory Group
  • up to four representatives from the Association of Electoral Administrators, Wales

Advisors:

  • The Electoral Commission
  • Welsh Government
  • The Senedd (the Senedd Commission)
  • UK Government
  • Wales Office
  • Cabinet Office
  • Welsh Local Government Association

The Board will also invite others to join the meeting on an ad hoc basis to contribute to specific discussions (for example representatives from the political parties, third sector and other government departments).

The Board’s work will be co-ordinated with the work of:

  • the Elections Coordination and Advisory Group
  • the Elections, Referendums and Registration Working Group
  • the Integrity Round Table
  • Wales Electoral Practitioners Working Group
  • Welsh Language Legislation Advisory Group

Details of these supporting groups are in the appendix to these terms of reference.

The Board will receive regular reports on the work of the supporting groups, and may remit particular issue to the supporting groups, either for resolution or with a request for advice.

The Board may establish ad hoc groups at any time to address particular issues.

Meetings

At least two meetings will take place every year (summer and autumn/winter).

Further meetings will be arranged as needed and according to the work programme and work demands.

Meetings will take place in a venue to be agreed by members and consideration will be given to using video-conferencing facilities when possible to avoid unnecessary travel.

The secretariat will be provided by the Electoral Commission who will make arrangements for scheduling meetings, arranging venues, preparing the agenda and notes of the meetings. Meetings may be recorded for this purpose and notes of meetings will be circulated to the relevant audience.

Members of the Board will be asked to suggest agenda items and the agenda will be agreed ahead of each meeting.

Papers will be circulated to Board members at least five working days in advance of meetings.

Last updated: 16 May 2022
Next review: 25 November 2020