Clause 435 - Crown servants and regulators

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 5 February 2002.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 5:00, 5 February 2002

The clause gives powers to the Secretary of State to provide that provisions apply to people who are in the public service of the Crown. That is an important provision and I support it, because such people could commit a money-laundering offence or prejudice investigations—although it would perhaps be surprising if that were to happen.

However, subsection (3) states:

The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that section 324 does not need to apply to persons who exercise functions—

(a) as or on behalf of supervisory authorities;

(b) as investigators.

Clause 324 addresses failures to disclose in the regulated sector.

Clarification is needed about the reasons for providing that power for the Secretary of State. What category of person would he seek to exempt, and why? I understand why he might wish to exempt investigators. However, the Committee should be concerned about exemptions for supervisory authorities. It might be suggested that the rules will be laxer in respect of them than in respect of other organisations, because although a supervisory authority might have a good reason for not wishing to make a disclosure, it might also make a disclosure in the usual way.