Schedule 3 - Restricted information held by the Regulator: certain permitted disclosures to facilitate exercise of functions.

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

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Question proposed, That this schedule be the third schedule to the Bill.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 9:45 am, 16th March 2004

The first column of the schedule lists the persons to whom information may be disclosed and the second lists the functions in relation to which they may act as recipients of such information. The last body listed is the Gaming Board for Great Britain. I was a little bit puzzled about why it could get information from the pensions regulator for functions under the Gaming Act 1968 or the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. Perhaps the Under-Secretary could tell us why.

Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

I rather suspected that that question would be raised. Currently, in relation to the Gaming Board for Great Britain, a trustee suspected of theft from pension funds who also holds a gaming licence—an example of this did occur—would not be within the reach of the tentacles of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority because the authority would be unable to disclose that fact to the Gaming Board. Unless a criminal offence is clearly being committed, OPRA with its current powers cannot disclose information, even though there is a clear irregularity. It is because of that example that the Gaming Board is listed in schedule 3.

Question put and agreed to.

Schedule 3 agreed to.