Investigations by the IPCC: whistle-blowing

Part of Policing and Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 24 March 2016.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 11:30, 24 March 2016

I beg to move amendment 131, in clause 21, page 26, line 23, at end insert—

(1) Where the Commission carries out an investigation under section 29E(2), it must keep the whistle-blower properly informed about the progress of the investigation and its outcome.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for exceptions to the duty under subsection (1).

(3) The power conferred by subsection (2) may be exercised only to the extent that the Secretary of State considers necessary for any of the permitted non-disclosure purposes.

(4) “The permitted non-disclosure purposes” are—

(a) preventing the premature or inappropriate disclosure of information that is relevant to, or may be used in, any actual or prospective criminal proceedings;

(b) preventing the disclosure of information in any circumstances in which it has been determined in accordance with the regulations that its non-disclosure—

(i) is in the interests of national security,

(ii) is for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

(iii) is for the purposes of the investigation of an allegation of misconduct against the whistle-blower or the taking of disciplinary proceedings or other appropriate action in relation to such an allegation,

(iv) is for the purposes of an investigation under Part 2 that relates to the whistle-blower,

(v) is required on proportionality grounds, or

(vi) is otherwise necessary in the public interest.

(5) The non-disclosure of information is required on proportionality grounds if its disclosure would cause, directly or indirectly, an adverse effect which would be disproportionate to the benefits arising from its disclosure.’

This amendment inserts a new section in the new Part 2B of the Police Reform Act 2002, inserted by clause 21. The new section requires the IPCC to keep a whistle-blower informed about an investigation under section 29E(2) of his or her concern and the outcome, subject to exceptions specified in regulations. It also sets out the purposes for which the regulation-making power may be exercised.