ELECTORAL OFFICE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

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1 ELECTORAL OFFICE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND JOB SPECIFICATION COUNT ASSISTANT Completed application forms must be returned to HR Section by 3pm on Monday 17 November 2014 EONI is an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all Section 75 groups regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, people with or without dependants, political opinion, religion or sexual orientation. 1

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3 CONTENTS Page Introduction & Background 4 Job Description 5 Selection Process 7 Conflict of Interest 8 Annex A Nationality Information 10 3

4 INTRODUCTION The arrangements for electoral administration in Northern Ireland (NI) are different from elsewhere in the UK. The system in NI is administered centrally by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) who is a statutory office holder independent of Government. He is assisted by the staff of the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI), the administrative structure that supports him in the discharge of his duties. In addition to the 55 permanent staff employed, EONI employs approximately 4,500 temporary staff to conduct polling day and for the counting of votes and without the assistance of the temporary staff employed we would not be able to run elections successfully. Further information about EONI can be obtained on our website at BACKGROUND Polling stations are open to voters from 7.00am to 10.00pm. After the close of poll the presiding officer is responsible for packing the documentation and ensuring the polling station (ballot box) returns go directly to the designated count centre. The polling station returns are taken to eight count centres across NI and the counting of ballot papers is generally conducted over two days following polling day, with the exception of a UK Parliamentary election, which is carried out overnight immediately after the close of poll. The last count tests were carried out a number of years ago and EONI now wish to create a new pool of count assistants to ensure the ballot papers are counted and sorted accurately and efficiently. Every count assistant appointed to count and sort the ballot papers must have successfully passed a short test. The next scheduled election is the UK Parliamentary election to be held on Thursday 7 May

5 JOB DESCRIPTION COUNT ASSISTANT Each Count Assistant will report to a Count Supervisor. The key responsibilities of the post are to: verify the number of ballot papers contained in a ballot box; sort the ballot papers into votes for individual candidates; count the ballot papers and re-count if required; refrain from engaging in conversations with candidates, agents or guests; verify the number of unused ballot papers returned from the polling stations; sort documentation and sundries returned from the polling stations; any other count assistant related duties as required. Personal Attributes be polite and professional; be punctual and reliable; have the ability to follow instructions; remain calm under pressure; Work effectively as part of a team; Depending on your position at the count, your performance will be assessed on the above job description, including the following standards, as appropriate: Ability to follow instructions Sort and count quickly/accurately Completion of count stationery provided Time keeping Customer Service (be polite and professional at all times) Ensure secrecy and security of the ballot papers at all times 5

6 Essential Criteria 2 GCSE s at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics or equivalent (Copies of your qualifications should be returned with the application form). Note: All staff will be required to maintain secrecy and must not stand as a candidate at the election; work (either paid or voluntary) for any political party or candidate, or sign the nomination paper of any candidate(s). Staff must not have been convicted of an offence under electoral law. 6

7 Selection Process The application form is designed to ensure that applicants provide the necessary information to determine how they meet the requirements for the post. Applicants must not reformat electronic application forms. CVs, letters, additional pages or supplementary material will not be accepted. EONI will not accept incomplete application forms, late applications or any application where we are asked to pay any shortfall in postage. EONI monitors applications for employment in term of community background, sex, disability and race. This information is regarded as part of your application and failure to fully complete and return this part of the application will result in disqualification. EONI reserves the right to consider for employment only those who appear from the information supplied to be the best suited, particular in light of resources available. All count assistants appointed will receive a job briefing from the Count Supervisor prior to the start of the count. Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form Please note, this form is regarded as part of any application and failure to complete and return it will result in disqualification. The Electoral Office for NI is an Equal Opportunities Employer. 7

8 CONFLICT OF INTEREST Applicants must declare personal interests where there is, or could be perceived to be, a conflict of interest between their duties as employee and their membership of a particular organisation. Applicants must not be a member of any organisation or society which might be construed as a potential conflict of interest or have any employment background, or personal connections, current or previous, which if you were appointed might give rise to public speculation including: Obtained office as a MP, MEP, member of the Assembly, local Councillor or other political office. Stood as a candidate for one of the above offices. Spoken on behalf of a party or candidate. Acted as a political agent. Held office such as Chair, Treasurer or Secretary of a local branch of a party. Canvassed on behalf of a party/candidate or helped at elections. Work (either paid or voluntary) for any political party or candidate, or sign the nomination paper of any candidate(s). Applicants must not have been convicted of an offence under electoral law. Undertaken any other political activity which may be considered relevant. Changes in personal circumstances Applicants must ensure that EONI is informed immediately of any changes in personal circumstances eg change of address, availability, conviction. Nationality requirements EONI must ensure that you are legally entitled to work in the United Kingdom. The Election posts are classified as Non-Public Service, therefore certain nationality requirements apply. Applicants must be either: (i) A UK national; or (ii) A Commonwealth citizen; or (iii) A British Protected Person; or (iv) An EEA national; or (v) A Swiss National; or (vi) A person who is not an EEA or Swiss national, but is a family member of an EEA national who has moved to the UK from another EEA Member State for an approved purpose. For further guidance on Nationality requirements please see Annex A. 8

9 Advice on Nationality for (i), (ii) and (iii) above may be obtained from the Home Office website, THIS APPLICANT INFORMATION DOES NOT FORM PART OF CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT HR SECTION Electoral Office for NI 3 rd floor St Anne s House 15 Church Street Belfast BT1 1ER Tel No Copies in alternative formats can also be made available on request from the Information Officer on or 9

10 ANNEX A Nationality (i) UK National means a person who is a British citizen (including persons from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), a British subject under Part IV of the British Nationality Act 1981 having the right of abode in the UK or a British Dependent Territories citizen acquiring his/her citizenship from connection with Gibraltar. (ii) Commonwealth Citizen means any person who has the status of a Commonwealth citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981, not covered by the UK Nationality definition above. This includes British Dependent Territories citizens (other than Gibraltarians), British Overseas citizens, and from 1986 those persons in the category British National (Overseas). (iii) British Protected Person means a member of any class of persons declared to be British Protected Persons by Order in Council under the British Nationality Act 1981, or by virtue of the Solomon Islands Act (iv) EEA National means a national of one of the following countries: Austria France Liechtenstein **Romania Belgium Germany Lithuania Slovakia **Bulgaria Greece Luxembourg Slovenia Cyprus Hungary Malta Spain Czech Republic Iceland Netherlands Sweden Denmark Ireland Norway United Kingdom Estonia Italy Poland Finland Latvia Portugal N.B. nationals from Switzerland also have the same free movement and employment rights. Family member of an EEA national means: (i) (ii) (iii) That national s spouse*; or A direct descendant (child, grandchild etc.) of that national or his/her spouse who is under 21 years of age or is their dependent; or A dependent relative in the ascending line (parent, grandparent etc) of the EEA national or his/her spouse. *Note: Spouse does not include a party to a marriage of convenience and in the case of EEA national vocational students; family members are restricted to spouses and dependent children only. ** Non-exempt Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are required to be registered under the Worker Authorisation Scheme prior to appointment. Guidance on this can be obtained from the Home Office website 10

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