To ask Her Majesty's Government which local authorities have accredited financial investigators with access to the Elmer database of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency through terminals housed in local police units; and what records are kept of the use to which such access is put. [HL1662]
The Serious Organised Crime Agency has partnership agreements in place with three local authorities allowing accredited financial investigators access to Elmer through terminals housed in local police units. These are the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Trading Standards Service and London Illegal Money Lending Team, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and Glasgow City Council.
Records are kept of the use of Elmer database, including records of all SARs that are viewed, downloaded or printed by a specific user. Records are also kept of all search requests that are made by a user of the database.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what professional qualifications are required of accredited financial investigators employed by local authorities before they are given access to the Elmer database of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency; how such investigators are security checked; and what restrictions are placed on the use that such investigators can make of their access rights. [HL1663]
Staff in end user organisations are required to pass the accredited financial investigators' training awarded by the National Policing Improvement Agency before they are given access to the Elmer database. All end users of Elmer are security checked according to the recruitment and security policy of their individual employer. Access to Elmer is given through SOCA's UK Financial Intelligence Unit's MoneyWeb intranet-based reporting system.
It is governed by a formal partnership agreement between SOCA and the end user. Financial investigators' access rights are also governed by legislation: the Criminal Procedure Investigation Act 1996, as amended by Part 5 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the relevant sections of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998; and protocols set out in Home Office Circular 53/2005.
SOCA reserves the right to exclude the end user from access to Elmer in the event of a confirmed breach of the partnership agreement.