HC Deb 26 July 2000 vol 354 cc1196-7

Lords amendment: No. 20, in page 16, line 15, leave out ("Chapter") and insert ("Part").

9 pm

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Jane Kennedy)

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Lord)

With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 21, 22, 156, 157 and 162.

Jane Kennedy

I am conscious that we are making good progress, and I hope that hon. Members welcome these amendments.

Amendment No. 20 recognises that the commissioner is responsible for the oversight of communications data as well as interception material. Amendment No. 21 deals with the question of intercept material that is lost or stolen. It is fairly straightforward. Amendment No. 156 is a technical amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

I should like to say one or two words about amendments Nos. 22, 157 and 162, which deal with some of the exceptions to the prohibition in clause 16 and—

Mr. Heald

I apologise to the hon. Lady for interrupting her flow. Surely amendment No. 21 deals with the secure storage of intercepted material, not theft. It says that the arrangements for the time being in force…for securing that the requirements of subsection (2) are satisfied…must include such arrangements as the Secretary of State considers necessary for securing that every copy of the material or data that is made is stored…in a secure manner.

Jane Kennedy

That is right. I said that amendment No. 21 deals with the question of intercept material that is lost or stolen, and the risk that such material may be outside the scope of clause 14(2). Although the storage and handling of intercepted material already involves the highest levels of physical, technical and personnel security, I hope that an explicit requirement to store intercepted material and data securely will reassure those who have been concerned that it might otherwise not be so stored. I am sorry if, by trying to make progress too swiftly, I obscured that.

Mr. Beith

The amendment was tabled in response to representations made by my noble Friends in the other place, who will be pleased that it meets that requirement.

Jane Kennedy

Let me move swiftly on while we are all in agreement.

Amendments Nos. 22, 157 and 162 deal with some of the exceptions to the prohibition in clause 16 and enable intercept material to be considered by the court in cases before the proscribed organisations appeal commission and the special immigration appeals commission, and in any proceedings arising out of proceedings before those commissions.

In order to ensure that, in those special circumstances, the commission can in each case consider any intercept material which may be relevant, the rules governing their procedure have been devised in such a way as to ensure that sensitive material is protected. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of amendment No. 22 reflect that aim, ensuring that intercept material is not disclosed to the appellant himself, or to anyone who represents him. However, there is provision for a special advocate—we have discussed these—to represent the interests of the appellant in any parts of a hearing from which he is excluded.

I hope that the amendments will find favour with the House.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 21 to 32 agreed to.

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