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Surveillance: Local Government

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 7 January 2010, Official Report, column 487W, on “Members: surveillance”, whether guidance has been given to public authorities on the use of surveillance authorised under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in respect of hon. Members and noble Lords. (312020)

Guidance to public authorities authorising covert techniques under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 is given in Home Office statutory codes of practice approved by Parliament. We are currently revising the codes on covert surveillance and covert human intelligence sources to make it clear that special consideration must be given to authorisations which involve information relating to communications between a Member of Parliament and a constituent in respect of constituency matters. The draft revised codes were laid before Parliament on 5 and 18 January to come into effect on 6 April.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 7 January 2010, Official Report, column 524W, on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which 34 local authorities supported the use of the Act by local authorities for surveillance related to dog fouling, littering or school enrolment checking. (312022)

My response of 7 January 2010, Official Report, column 524W, to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) stated that the relevant details would be published shortly and copies placed in the House Library. That was done on 18 January.