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New Clause 1 - Regulations about powers to require information in connection with housing fraud

Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:00 am on 24th October 2012.

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‘(1) The appropriate authority may by regulations provide for the exercise, for prescribed housing fraud investigation purposes, of powers to require the provision of information.

(2) The appropriate authority may by regulations—

(a) make provision about the persons by whom powers conferred by regulations under this section may be exercised;

(b) in particular, make provision for the authorisation by local authorities of persons to exercise those powers.

(3) The provision that may be made by regulations under this section includes, in particular, provision equivalent to—

(a) provision made by a relevant enactment, or

(b) provision that is capable of being made under a relevant enactment,

with such modifications as the appropriate authority thinks fit.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), each of the following enactments is a “relevant enactment”—

(a) section 109B of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (powers to require information);

(b) section 110A of that Act (authorisations by local authorities to exercise powers of investigation);

(c) section 121DA(2) and (3) of that Act (interpretation of Part 6 of that Act).

(5) After the repeal of section 110A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 by Part 1 of Schedule 14 to the Welfare Reform Act 2012, the reference to that section in subsection (4) is to that section as it had effect immediately before it was repealed.

(6) A person exercising powers conferred by regulations under this section must have regard to guidance issued or approved by the appropriate authority.

(7) In this section “housing fraud investigation purposes” means purposes relating to the prevention, detection or securing of evidence for a conviction of —

(a) an offence under this Act;

(b) an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 relating to the unlawful sub-letting or parting with possession of the whole or part of a dwelling-house let by a local authority, a private registered provider of social housing or a registered social landlord,

(c) an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 relating to an application for an allocation of housing accommodation under Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996,

(d) an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 relating to an application for accommodation, or for assistance in obtaining accommodation, under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996,

(e) an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 relating to—

(i) a claim to exercise the right to buy under Part 5 of the Housing Act 1985,

(ii) a claim to exercise the right to acquire under section 16 of the Housing Act 1996, or

(iii) a claim to exercise the right to acquire under section 180 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, or

(f) an associated offence in relation to an offence mentioned in any of paragraphs (a) to (e).

(8) In this section “prescribed” means prescribed by regulations under this section.’.—(Richard Harrington.)

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.