Sensitive information received by IPCC: restriction on disclosure

Policing and Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 12th April 2016.

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‘(1) Part 2 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (complaints and misconduct) is amended as follows.

(2) After section 21 insert—

“21A Restriction on disclosure of sensitive information

(1) Where the Commission receives information within subsection (3), the Commission must not disclose (whether under section 11, 20 or 21 or otherwise) the information, or the fact that it has been received, unless the relevant authority consents to the disclosure.

(2) Where a person appointed under paragraph 18 of Schedule 3 to investigate a complaint or matter (a “paragraph 18 investigator”) receives information within subsection (3), the paragraph 18 investigator must not disclose the information, or the fact that it has been received, to any person other than the Commission unless the relevant authority consents to the disclosure.

(3) The information is—

(a) intelligence service information;

(b) intercept information;

(c) information obtained from a government department which, at the time it is provided to the Commission or the paragraph 18 investigator, is identified by the department as information the disclosure of which may, in the opinion of the relevant authority—

(i) cause damage to national security, international relations or the economic interests of the United Kingdom or any part of the United Kingdom, or

(ii) jeopardise the safety of any person.

(4) Where the Commission or a paragraph 18 investigator discloses to another person information within subsection (3), or the fact that the Commission or the paragraph 18 investigator has received it, the other person must not disclose that information or that fact unless the relevant authority consents to the disclosure.

(5) In this section—

“government department” means a department of Her Majesty’s Government but does not include—

(a) the Security Service,

(b) the Secret Intelligence Service, or

(c) the Government Communications Headquarters (“GCHQ”);

“intelligence service information” means information that was obtained (directly or indirectly) from or that relates to—

(a) the Security Service,

(b) the Secret Intelligence Service,

(c) GCHQ, or

(d) any part of Her Majesty’s forces, or of the Ministry of Defence, which engages in intelligence activities;

“intercept information” means information relating to any of the matters mentioned in section 19(3) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000;

“Minister of the Crown” includes the Treasury;

“paragraph 18 investigator” has the meaning given by subsection (2);

“relevant authority” means—

(a) in the case of intelligence service information obtained (directly or indirectly) from or relating to the Security Service, the Director-General of the Security Service;

(b) in the case of intelligence service information obtained (directly or indirectly) from or relating to the Secret Intelligence Service, the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service;

(c) in the case of intelligence service information obtained (directly or indirectly) from or relating to GCHQ, the Director of GCHQ;

(d) in the case of intelligence service information obtained (directly or indirectly) from or relating to Her Majesty’s forces or the Ministry of Defence, the Secretary of State;

(e) in the case of intercept information, the person to whom the relevant interception warrant is or was addressed;

(f) in the case of information within subsection (3)(c)—

“relevant interception warrant” means the interception warrant issued under section 5 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 that relates to the intercept information.

21B Provision of sensitive information to the Commission and certain investigators

‘(1) A person who provides information that is intelligence service information or intercept information to the Commission or a paragraph 18 investigator (whether under a provision of this Part or otherwise) must—

(a) make the Commission or the paragraph 18 investigator aware that the information is intelligence service information or (as the case may be) intercept information, and

(b) provide the Commission or the paragraph 18 investigator with such additional information as will enable the Commission or the paragraph 18 investigator to identify the relevant authority in relation to the information.

(2) In this section, “intelligence service information”, “intercept information”, “paragraph 18 investigator” and “relevant authority” have the same meaning as in section 21A.”

(3) In Schedule 3 (handling of complaints and conduct matters etc), in Part 3 (investigations and subsequent proceedings)—

(a) omit paragraph 19ZD (sensitive information: restriction on further disclosure of information received under an information notice);

(b) in paragraph 22 (final reports on investigations: complaints, conduct matters and certain DSI matters)—

(i) after sub-paragraph (6) insert—

“(6A) Where a person would contravene section 21A by submitting, or (as the case may be) sending a copy of, a report in its entirety to the appropriate authority under sub-paragraph (2) or (3)(b), the person must instead submit, or send a copy of, the report after having removed or obscured the information which by virtue of section 21A the person must not disclose.”;

(ii) in sub-paragraph (8), at the end insert “except so far as the person is prevented from doing so by section 21A”;

(c) in paragraph 23 (action by the Commission in response to an investigation report under paragraph 22), after sub-paragraph (2) insert—

“(2ZA) Where the Commission would contravene section 21A by sending a copy of a report in its entirety to the appropriate authority under sub-paragraph (2)(a) or to the Director of Public Prosecutions under sub-paragraph (2)(c), the Commission must instead send a copy of the report after having removed or obscured the information which by virtue of section 21A the Commission must not disclose.”;

(d) in paragraph 24A (final reports on investigations: other DSI matters), after sub-paragraph (3) insert—

“(3A) Where a person would contravene section 21A by sending a copy of a report in its entirety to the appropriate authority under sub-paragraph (2)(b), the person must instead send a copy of the report after having removed or obscured the information which by virtue of section 21A the person must not disclose.”” —

Paragraph 19ZD of Schedule 3 to the Police Reform Act 2002 currently imposes restrictions on the further disclosure by the IPCC of certain sensitive information received by it under an information notice. This new clause replaces paragraph 19ZD with new section 21A of the 2002 Act, which applies irrespective of how the IPCC has obtained the information. New section 21A also applies to investigators appointed under paragraph 18 of Schedule 3 to the 2002 Act (investigations by an appropriate authority under the IPCC’s direction). New section 21A is supplemented by new section 21B, which is intended to assist those needing to comply with section 21A.

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

New Clause 3