Review by the Secretary of State

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:15 pm ar 19 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General 4:15, 19 Ebrill 2016

The hon. and learned Lady asks a perfectly proper question. I reiterate the position that we have taken in principle: the Secretary of State is the appropriate and accountable person to be responsible for reviewing retention notices. However, although the Secretary of State must be responsible for giving notices and must therefore be the person ultimately responsible for deciding on the outcome of the review, that does not mean that she or he can make the decision on the outcome of the review without consultation—far from it.

Clause 80(6) ensures that the Secretary of State must consult both the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and the technical advisory board. The commissioner must consider the proportionality of the notice; the board must consider the technical feasibility and financial consequences of it; and both must consult the operator concerned and report their conclusions to the operator and the Secretary of State. Only then can the Secretary of State can decide whether to vary, revoke or give effect to the notice. That system provides rigorous scrutiny of the notice and maintains the accountability of the final decision resting with the Secretary of State. We therefore believe it is the best mechanism for review. Accordingly, I commend the unamended clause to the Committee.