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Clause 4 - Relationships between NCA and other agencies: tasking etc

Part of Crime and Courts Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 24th January 2013.

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Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 12:45 pm, 24th January 2013

The Minister raises further issues. First, can he clarify why he considers that voluntary tasking arrangements will not involve sensitive information, but that directed tasking information might?

If people are being asked to collaborate, especially with the work that the NCA will be doing, operational sensitive material may well be part of the process—so releasing information about what has been done with resources will be sensitive, whether it is a voluntary or a directed task. The Minister needs to reflect on that. The question about FOIs and transparency is not a minor issue; it is about a new power and a new way in which the police will work. If he cannot answer the question on freedom of information—and it is quite clear that he cannot, because he has not looked at how this will work  with police and crime commissioners—can he answer whether or not police and crime commissioner panels could request this information, so that they knew?

Are we simply going to see police and crime commissioners having to justify increases in their council tax precept in order to pay for operations when they cannot explain to the public what they are paying for?