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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Amendments made: 132, in clause 21, page 26, line 34, at end insert—

‘( ) The power conferred by subsection (1) may be exercised only to the extent that the Secretary of State considers necessary for any of the permitted disclosure purposes.

( ) “The permitted disclosure purposes” are—

(a) the protection of the interests of national security;

(b) the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension of offenders;

(c) the institution or conduct of criminal proceedings;

(d) the investigation of allegations of misconduct against whistle-blowers and the taking of disciplinary proceedings or other appropriate action in relation to such allegations;

(e) investigations under Part 2 that relate to whistle-blowers;

(f) investigations under this Part;

(g) any other purpose that is for the protection of the public interest.’

The new section 29I of the Police Reform Act 2002, inserted by clause 21, allows the Secretary of State to make regulations authorising the IPCC to disclose the identity of a whistle-blower and the nature of his or her concern (without the whistle-blower’s consent). The amendment provides that the regulation-making power is exercisable only for the permitted disclosure purposes set out in the amendment.

Amendment 133, in clause 21, page 26, line 43, leave out “whistle-blowers or to other”.

This amendment is consequential on Amendment 131.

Amendment 134, in clause 21, page 26, line 47, at end insert—

‘( ) The power conferred by subsection (1) may be exercised only to the extent that the Secretary of State considers necessary for any of the permitted disclosure purposes.

( ) In this section, “the permitted disclosure purposes” has the same meaning as in section 29I.’.

The new section 29J of the Police Reform Act 2002, inserted by clause 21, allows the Secretary of State to make regulations authorising the IPCC to disclose information relating to an investigation under section 29E(2) of a whistle-blowers’ concern or its outcome. The amendment provides that the regulation-making power is exercisable only for the permitted disclosure purposes (which are those set out in amendment 132).

Amendment 135, in clause 21, page 27, line 15, at end insert—

‘“( ) section 21A (restriction on disclosure of sensitive information);

( ) section 21B (provision of sensitive information to the Commission);”’—

This amendment is consequential on NC2.