I beg to move amendment No. 143, in page 9, line 12, leave out paragraph (g).
This is a probing amendment. Clause 13(3)(g) refers to
I should be grateful if the Minister would confirm that the Serious Organised Crime Agency would, as an agency, be treated as a public authority for the purposes of the Bill and therefore be subject to the duties placed upon it, subject to clauses 3 and 4?
I thank the hon. Member for Beaconsfield for his probing amendment and the question from my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, North (Ann McKechin). Both the Serious Organised Crime Agency and, once it has been established, the National Policing Improvement Agency, can have two categories of people working for them, employees and seconded staff. Police officers who are seconded on a temporary basis should be treated as employees of the agency in question for the purpose of the offence. This is because such secondments can be for a substantial length of time and the organisation, which to all intents and purposes should owe an employers duty, will be that agency.
Although under clause 3(1)(a), an organisation is already covered by the offence in relation to persons other than employees who work for the organisation, clarity is best served by making it explicit that police officers seconded to the agency are treated as their employees. I hope that the hon. Gentleman is satisfied that paragraph (g) is necessary and that he will withdraw his amendment. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, North is correct that the special constables in Scotland are covered by this Bill.