Section 18 — Co-operation with and reports by Commissioner

Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:00 am on 7th September 2000.

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Photo of George Reid George Reid Scottish National Party 11:00 am, 7th September 2000

We move to amendment 63, which is grouped with amendment 64. I invite Angus MacKay to move amendment 63 and speak to both amendments.

Photo of Angus MacKay Angus MacKay Labour

Section 18(3) provides that the chief surveillance commissioner will make an annual report to Scottish ministers on the discharge of any functions under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act. The bill is currently worded so that this report should be produced

"As soon as is practicable after the end of each calendar year."

At present, the chief surveillance commissioner writes his report on part III of the Police Act 1997 at the end of the financial year, and the intention is that his or her report on the UK Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 will also be produced at that time of the year. It makes sense for the chief surveillance commissioner's report on the discharge of functions under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act to be produced at the same time as reports by the commissioner under the 1997 act, because the same person might well hold the post under the two acts.

The chief surveillance commissioner under the 1997 act has requested that the bill might be amended to make that possible. As a result, this amendment is designed to meet his request and is relatively straightforward, although I am looking somewhat nervously at Michael Matheson as I say that.

I move amendment 63.

Amendment 63 agreed to.

Amendment 64 moved—[Angus MacKay]—and agreed to.