Posted by: westlancashirerecord | February 19, 2018

Returning Officer Fees, A Legitimised Waste Of Public Money?

We are concerned about waste of public money. We see high salaries for senior officers. We see double pay for days of election work without any lessening of the usual bread and butter responsibility and work undertaken by the highest paid senior officer even despite her being an election acting returning officer. Why? Most of it is delegated.

It has long been a tradition that the government allows the most senior council officer to be an acting returning officer. Under section 29(3) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c.2) a returning officer may recover their charges for services and expenses, provided they were necessarily rendered or incurred for the efficient and effective conduct of the parliamentary election and the total does not exceed the overall maximum recoverable amount specified by the Minister in an order. Section 29(3A) enables the Minister to specify by order a maximum recoverable amount for particular services or expenses.

Articles 3, 4(1) and 5(1) and the Schedule specify the maximum amounts recoverable by returning officers when a parliamentary election is a standalone poll. The table in the Schedule lists by constituency the maximum recoverable amount for specified services, the maximum recoverable amount for specified expenses, and the overall maximum recoverable amount.

For 2017 the most recent published fees and costs for elections in West Lancashire confirm a) the Returning Officer £3,427 b) the maximum recoverable amount for specified expenses, £161,752 c) the overall maximum recoverable amount (a+b) £165,179. 


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