The Electoral Commission have specific responsibilities and functions in relation to the delivery and regulation of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA). These apply to any referendum Bill brought before the UK Parliament unless specifically stated otherwise.
Their responsibilities under PPERA include:
- Commenting on the intelligibility of the referendum question.
- Registering organisations or individuals who want to campaign in the referendum.
- Monitoring spending on referendum campaigning, in line with the referendum spending limits imposed by PPERA.
- Considering applications for designation as lead campaign groups for each referendum outcome.
- Ensuring that designated organisations (if appointed) have access to certain assistance.
- Reporting on the administration of the referendum and referendum campaign spending.
The Chair of the Commission, Jenny Watson, will act as Chief Counting Officer (CCO) for the EU referendum and is responsible for certifying the outcome of the referendum. The CCO has appointed Barry Quirk as the Regional Counting Officer for the London Region.
The Regional Counting Officer will be responsible for co-ordinating the planning and administration of the poll across their electoral region and for managing the collation of the local totals into a total for the electoral region, which will be fed into the UK-wide result.
Barry Quirk has been Lewisham Council Chief Executive since November 1993. He has worked in local government for over 35 years, with experience in five London councils. Barry is a Visiting Fellow in Social Policy and Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London and is an Associate at the independent Institute for Government. He was awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to London local government.