Statistics and Registration Service Bill
John Healey (Financial Secretary, HM Treasury; Wentworth, Labour)
I think that the Committee may wish for a brief explanation of the clause, as it is an important part of the Bill. It sets out a mechanism that allows the board to use information that is received from a public authority, by creating a power for the Treasury to make regulations to authorise the use of that information, where there is an existing legal barrier to the board’s using it. The power may be used to allow the board to use for additional purposes information that it has already received, which could allow it to improve the quality of statistics. That in turn could improve policy making, resource allocation and the delivery of public services. The power may also be used to reduce the burden on data providers, such as requests for businesses and individuals to fill out surveys, by removing the need to collect information that is already held by the board.
The clause uses the same mechanism as that in clauses 44 to 46. Regulations must be made with the consent of another Minister of the Crown who, together with the Treasury, must be satisfied that the disclosure is required for the board to carry out the functions for which the disclosure is authorised, and that the disclosure is in the public interest.