HC Deb 18 November 2003 vol 413 cc841-2W
Brian White

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department are taking to ensure consistency in using the Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 across all Government Departments. [136132]

Caroline Flint

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has issued statutory Codes of Practice relating to the exercise and performance of powers and duties under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Subject to the approval of Parliament, new and revised codes will be issued. These codes, together with provision of advice from independent Commissioners and the delivery of training and seminars, support consistency in the use of powers under the Act.

Independent Commissioners, who are appointed by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, are under a statutory duty to keep under review the exercise and performance of the powers and duties conferred or imposed on public authorities by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Commissioners' role includes, where necessary or appropriate, ensuring consistency in the application of the Act's provisions or the interpretation of the statutory Codes of Practice.

The Government are committed to ensuring that the relevant Commissioners have the necessary resources to carry out effective oversight of public authorities' use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

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