HC Deb 19 July 2001 vol 372 c413W
Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will publish for public consultation the draft Code of Practice governing the information gathering powers in the Social Security Fraud Act 2001. [6040]

Malcolm Wicks

The Social Security Fraud Act contains new powers for the Department and local authorities to obtain information from the private sector and some public sector organisations, to combat benefit fraud.

The Act makes provision for a statutory Code of Practice to govern the use of these powers. A draft Code was made available in the last Parliament and we now propose to conduct a formal public consultation exercise.

Copies of the Code will be sent to a wide range of interested parties, and it will be placed on the Department's website. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, and are available from the Vote Office. Respondents will have three months to respond.