Clause 59 - Disclosure for facilitating exercise of functions by the Board

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 16th March 2004.

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Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions 9:30 am, 16th March 2004

My apologies to the Committee if my voice sounds as if I am speaking through a pillow this morning. The purpose of the clause is fairly straightforward. There was some discussion last week about the relationship between the regulator and the board of the pension protection fund. All that we are seeking to do through the clause is ensure that the information that is transferred is protected. Any restricted information provided to the regulator, or to any person by the regulator, must not be disclosed unless it has the consent of the information provider, or the person to whom it relates. Information provided to the regulator by the Inland Revenue must not be disclosed without prior consent from the commissioners of the Inland Revenue or Customs and Excise.

We are trying to ensure that during the transfer of information between the regulator and the board of the pension protection fund—which the Committee agreed last week was necessary and sensible, because it allowed the PPF to perform its functions and

protected members' interests—there is a flow of information with proper safeguards built in to its use and information providers are protected.

I hope that that clarifies what we are trying to do with clause 59.