HC Deb 16 January 2002 vol 378 c316W
14. Mr. Todd

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what use is made of national insurance numbers to combat electoral fraud. [25606]

Mr. Browne

National insurance numbers are not currently used to combat electoral fraud in Northern Ireland.

I am looking carefully at the arguments which have been made for the inclusion of a person's national insurance number as one of the items of personal information required on an application to the electoral register in Northern Ireland. I am discussing with the Department for Work and Pensions how national insurance numbers might be used effectively in the electoral process and whether their use would help to combat electoral fraud.

17. Mr. Bill O'Brien

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the level of electoral fraud in Northern Ireland; and what measures are being taken to reduce it. [25646]

Mr. Browne

Following the 7 June elections, an independent research company was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Office to investigate all aspects of elections in Northern Ireland. The research findings were placed in the Library of the House on 16 October 2001.

The measures contained in the Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Bill will tackle electoral abuse in Northern Ireland effectively without disadvantaging honest voters.