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Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill: Parts 1 and 3 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (125610)

Chapter I of Part I of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which provides for the lawful interception of communications, entered into force in October 2000. When the RIP Bill was tabled, its regulatory impact assessment (RIA) estimated, accurately, total compliance costs to business (communications service providers (CSPs)) would not exceed the measure of significance (£20 million) used by the Regulatory Impact Unit of the Cabinet Office.

Chapter II of Part I of RIPA, which provides for the lawful acquisition and disclosure of communications data, entered into force in January 2004. In line with section 24 of RIPA, arrangements are in place for CSPs to recover the costs incurred by them in complying with disclosure required by public authorities. We estimate that in 2005-06 public authorities paid communications service providers less than £20 million for disclosing communications data when required to do so.

Part III of RIPA, which provides for the investigation of protected electronic data, is not yet in force although the Government have completed a public consultation on a draft code of practice which Parliament will be invited to approve shortly. The RIA for the RIP Bill estimated total compliance costs to business relating to Part III were not expected to exceed the measure of significance. That estimate is still valid.