HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c716W
Mr. Frank Field

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he will take to ensure that information Capita gain from accessing the Police National Computer is confined within the Capita organisation itself and is not related to persons or bodies other than those who have made an authorised application to Capita. [123658]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 4 July 2003]: The power in Schedule 29 to the Criminal Justice Bill that would enable the Secretary of State to delegate to another person his functions under Part 5 of the Police Act 1997 is discretionary. No decision has been taken to delegate the Criminal Records Bureau's functions which would allow a private sector provider access to the Police National Computer.

In the event that the Government decided to delegate any functions of the Criminal Records Bureau which would allow a private sector provider access to sensitive personal information, the delegation would be subject to sufficient safeguards to protect such information from improper disclosure. Furthermore, under new section 124A of the 1997 Act, inserted by paragraph 11 of Schedule 29, it would be an offence for any person to whom the Secretary of State had delegated functions to disclose any personal information obtained in connection with those functions. There are certain exceptions, including where the disclosure is made in the course of the person's duties.