National Crime Agency

Home Department written question – answered on 3rd September 2012.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith Conservative, Skipton and Ripon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy that the National Crime Agency should be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office) , The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 21 May 2012, Hansard, column 824. The Government remains firmly of the view that the National Crime Agency (NCA), like the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), should be exempt from Freedom of Information legislation, as provided for by the Crime and Courts Bill. To apply the Freedom of Information Act to the NCA would jeopardise its operational effectiveness and ultimately result in lower levels of protection for the public, as Lord Henley, the Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction, explained in the Other Place on 18 June 2012, Hansard, column 1641.

I remain equally firmly committed to ensuring that the NCA is as open and transparent as possible. In support of that aim the Bill sets out that the NCA's Director General must publish an Annual Plan and Annual Report, and provides a new statutory duty that he or she must publish information about the Agency's functions and other matters relating to the Agency. The information that must be published under the duty will be set out in the NCA Framework Document, which will itself be published and laid before Parliament.

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