Clause 128 - Offences by bodies corporate and

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 17 January 2002.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health 3:15, 17 January 2002

I hope to come to enforcement in a moment. Clause 128 makes provision on offences by bodies corporate or unincorporated bodies. Where an offence is committed by a body corporate—as we discussed previously, a body corporate has a legal existence separate from those people who make it up—and when the offence has also been proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or due to the neglect of, an office of a body corporate or an unincorporated body, that officer, as well as the body, is guilty of the offence. In other words, it ensures that we are dealing not only with offences committed by legal entities, but that we can ensure that the officers of incorporated bodies are made liable. In cases when the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members rather than by officers, the provisions apply equally to members and officers.

As with the other offences that we have considered, enforcement might happen in a variety of ways. Offences may be identified by the National Care Standards Commission, as part of its inspection process—for example, offences committed by adoption support agencies. Other offences may be

reported to the police, or the police may be prompted by complaints to make an investigation.