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Information Commissioner

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what mechanisms are in place for the Information Commissioner to report to Parliament on (a) his work and (b) the running of his office. (96683)

The Information Commissioner is an independent body created by statute. The Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Both Acts require the Commissioner to lay annually before Parliament a general report on the exercise of his functions under the Act. The Acts also provide that the Commissioner may from time to time lay before each House of Parliament such other reports on his functions as he thinks fit. The Commissioner is also required for each financial year to prepare a statement of account which is examined by the Comptroller and Auditor General and laid before each House of Parliament. The Commissioner as Accounting Officer is answerable to Parliament for the moneys allocated to him.

The Constitutional Affairs Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Constitutional Affairs and its associated public bodies.