§ Norman Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to paragraphs 14.1, 14.2 and 14.3 of the report of the Chief Surveillance Commissioner for 2000–01, (1) for what reasons no codes of practice had been issued under section 71(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will list the public authorities entitled at 1 January to carry out surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and which of those authorities have exercised such powers since the introduction of the Act; 
(3) pursuant to paragraph 2.4 of the report of the Chief Surveillance Commissioner for 2000–01, to what reasons he ascribes the delay in recruiting assistant surveillance commissioners; what the appropriate establishment is for the Commissioner's Office; and on what date he expects this to be achieved; 
(4) what guidance has been provided to the Chief Surveillance Commissioner in respect of the determining of applications made to him by public authorities which 398W involve eliciting matters subject to (a) legal privilege, (b) confidential personal information and (c) confidential journalistic material; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Blunkett
[holding answer 29 January 2002]: The three part-time assistant surveillance commissioners approved to support the Chief Surveillance Commissioner were appointed on 1 May 2001, the five inspectors were appointed during April 2001. The office of the surveillance commissioners is fully up to strength.
The public authorities entitled to carry out covert surveillance under Part II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 are those listed in schedule 1 of the Act and the British Broadcasting Corporation which was added by order on 16 March 2001. All those public authorities have (as far as records indicate) used the powers available to them under Part II of RIPA.
The draft codes of practice on covert surveillance and covert human intelligence sources have been issued in draft and were publicly consulted on. The consultation process finished on 17 November 2000. It raised a number of complex issues which required detailed consideration. The draft codes will be before the House shortly. The draft code of practice on covert surveillance provides guidance on authorisations involving confidential information which consist of matters subject to legal privilege, confidential personal information and confidential journalistic material.