Additional functions under this Part

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 28 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General 2:30, 28 Ebrill 2016

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for reminding us about the duty of candour that applies to public bodies, which is of course material.

In addition, the clause has already been amended, pursuant to the Joint Committee’s recommendation 59, to make it clear that a commissioner does not need to consult the Secretary of State before sharing information with or providing assistance to the IPT. That is provided for in clause 199(4) and may well address many of the concerns raised by the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh South West about the Secretary of State being some sort of bar to proper disclosure and sharing of information. That is not the case under the Bill as already amended. As for providing the IPT with all information relating to relevant errors, as I have said, courts and tribunals cannot and will not consider those issues without a party first having brought a claim.

Within the framework of the clause, we have the necessary structure for proper and frank disclosure to the IPT by the commissioners of relevant material that will assist any party in bringing an action where they have been subject to an error or some form of wrong. To conflate the two would lead to more confusion and would be unnecessary. With respect, I urge the hon. and learned Lady to withdraw the amendment.