Digital Economy Bill (HL Bill 102)

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(a) in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12
months, to a fine or to both;

(b) in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, to a
fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

(c) 5in Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6
months, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.

(7) In the application of subsection (6)(a) to an offence committed before the
coming into force of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the
reference to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(8) 10This section does not apply to personal information disclosed under section 52
by the Revenue and Customs.

55 Information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs

(1) Personal information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs under section 52
and received by a person may not be disclosed by that person.

(2) 15Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure which is made with the consent
of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (which may be
general or specific).

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (3) to
20prove that the person reasonably believed—

(a) that the disclosure was lawful, or

(b) that the information had already and lawfully been made available to
the public.

(5) Subsections (4) to (7) of section 19 of the Commissioners for Revenue and
25Customs Act 2005 apply to an offence under subsection (3) as they apply to an
offence under that section.

56 Code of practice

(1) The relevant Minister must issue a code of practice about—

(a) the disclosure of information under section 52, and

(b) 30the use of information disclosed under that section.

(2) The code of practice must be consistent with the code of practice issued under
section 52B (data-sharing code) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (as altered or
replaced from time to time).

(3) A specified person must have regard to the code of practice in—

(a) 35disclosing information under section 52, and

(b) using information disclosed under that section.

(4) The relevant Minister may from time to time revise and re-issue the code of
practice.

(5) Before issuing or reissuing the code of practice the relevant Minister must
40consult—

(a) the Information Commissioner,

(b) the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs,

Digital Economy BillPage 55

(c) the Scottish Ministers,

(d) the Welsh Ministers,

(e) the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland, and

(f) such other persons as the relevant Minister thinks appropriate.

(6) 5The fact that this section was not in force when consultation of the kind
mentioned in subsection (5) took place is to be disregarded in determining
whether there has been compliance with that subsection.

(7) As soon as is reasonably practicable after issuing or reissuing the code of
practice the relevant Minister must lay, or arrange for the laying of, a copy of
10it before—

(a) Parliament,

(b) the Scottish Parliament,

(c) the National Assembly for Wales, and

(d) the Northern Ireland Assembly.

57 15Duty to review operation of Chapter

(1) As soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of three years beginning with
the day on which this Chapter comes into force, the relevant Minister must
review its operation for the purposes of deciding whether it should be
amended or repealed.

(2) 20Before carrying out the review the relevant Minister must publish the criteria
by reference to which that determination will be made.

(3) In carrying out the review the relevant Minister must consult—

(a) the Information Commissioner,

(b) the Scottish Ministers,

(c) 25the Welsh Ministers,

(d) the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland, and

(e) such other persons as the relevant Minister thinks appropriate.

(4) Once the review is completed the relevant Minister must—

(a) publish a report on its outcome, and

(b) 30lay, or arrange for the laying of, a copy of the report before—

(i) Parliament,

(ii) the Scottish Parliament,

(iii) the National Assembly for Wales, and

(iv) the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(5) 35If as a result of the review the relevant Minister decides that this Chapter
should be amended or repealed, the relevant Minister may by regulations
amend or repeal it (as the case may be).

(6) The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Scottish Ministers if the regulations—

(a) 40repeal this Chapter,

(b) amend or remove the power of the Scottish Ministers to make
regulations under section 52(5),

(c) affect the disclosure of information under section 52 by a Scottish body
to another such body,

Digital Economy BillPage 56

(d) affect the use by a Scottish body of information disclosed under that
section by such a body, or

(e) affect the further disclosure to a Scottish body by such a body, or by a
member, officer or employee of such a body, of information disclosed
5under this Chapter by a Scottish body.

(7) The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Welsh Ministers if the regulations—

(a) repeal this Chapter,

(b) amend or remove the power of the Welsh Ministers to make
10regulations under section 52(5),

(c) affect the disclosure of information under section 52 by a Welsh body
to another such body,

(d) affect the use by a Welsh body of information disclosed under that
section by such a body, or

(e) 15affect the further disclosure to a Welsh body by such a body, or by a
member, officer or employee of such a body, of information disclosed
under this Chapter by a Welsh body.

(8) The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland if the regulations—

(a) 20repeal this Chapter,

(b) amend or remove the power of the Department to make regulations
under section 52(5),

(c) affect the disclosure of information under section 52 by a Northern
Ireland body to another such body,

(d) 25affect the use by a Northern Ireland body of information disclosed
under that section by such a body, or

(e) affect the further disclosure to a Northern Ireland body by such a body,
or by a member, officer or employee of such a body, of information
disclosed under this Chapter by a Northern Ireland body.

(9) 30The relevant Minister may only make regulations under subsection (5) with the
consent of the Treasury in a case where the regulations could affect the
disclosure of information by the Revenue and Customs.

(10) Anything required to be published by this section is to be published in such
manner as the relevant Minister thinks fit.

58 35Regulations under this Chapter

(1) Any power to make regulations under this Chapter is exercisable—

(a) in the case of regulations made by the relevant Minister or the Welsh
Ministers, by statutory instrument, and

(b) in the case of regulations made by the Department of Finance in
40Northern Ireland, by statutory rule for the purposes of the Statutory
Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (SI 1979/1573 (NI 12)).

(2) Regulations under this Chapter—

(a) may make different provision for different purposes;

(b) may contain consequential, supplementary, transitional or transitory
45provision or savings.

(3) The provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (2)(b) includes—

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(a) provision amending this Chapter or repealing or revoking any
provision of this Chapter;

(b) provision amending, repealing or revoking an enactment passed or
made before or in the same session as this Act.

(4) 5In the case of regulations under section 52(5) which specify a person or
description of person, this includes provision amending this Chapter so as to
make provision in relation to information disclosed by that person or a person
of that description which is similar to that made by section 55 in relation to
information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs.

(5) 10A statutory instrument containing regulations made under this Chapter by the
relevant Minister may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been
laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(6) Regulations made under section 52(5) by the Scottish Ministers are subject to
the affirmative procedure.

(7) 15A statutory instrument containing regulations made under section 52(5) by the
Welsh Ministers may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid
before, and approved by a resolution of, the National Assembly for Wales.

(8) Regulations under section 52(5) may not be made by the Department of
Finance in Northern Ireland unless a draft of the regulations has been laid
20before, and approved by a resolution of, the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(9) If a draft of a statutory instrument containing regulations under section 52(5)
would, apart from this subsection, be treated for the purposes of the standing
orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, it is to proceed in
that House as if it were not such an instrument.

59 25Interpretation of this Chapter

(1) In this Chapter—

  • “the appropriate national authority” means the relevant Minister, subject
    to subsections (2) to (4);

  • “enactment” includes—

    (a)

    30an enactment contained in, or in an instrument made under, an
    Act of the Scottish Parliament;

    (b)

    an enactment contained in, or in an instrument made under, a
    Measure or Act of the National Assembly for Wales;

    (c)

    an enactment contained in, or in an instrument made under,
    35Northern Ireland legislation;

    (d)

    an enactment contained in subordinate legislation within the
    meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978;

  • “functions” means functions of a public nature;

  • “Northern Ireland body” means—

    (a)

    40a Minister within the meaning of the Northern Ireland Act 1998,

    (b)

    a Northern Ireland department,

    (c)

    a Northern Ireland public authority within the meaning of the
    Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, or

    (d)

    a person providing services to a person within paragraph (a),
    45(b) or (c);

  • “personal information” has the meaning given by section 53(5);

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  • “public authority” has the meaning given by section 52(11);

  • “relevant Minister” means the Secretary of State or the Minister for the
    Cabinet Office;

  • “the Revenue and Customs” has the meaning given by section 17(3) of the
    5Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005;

  • “Scottish body” means—

    (a)

    a person who is a part of the Scottish Administration,

    (b)

    a Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved
    functions (within the meaning of the Scotland Act 1998), or

    (c)

    10a person providing services to a person within paragraph (a) or
    (b);

  • “specified person” has the meaning given by section 52(5);

  • “Welsh body” means—

    (a)

    a devolved Welsh authority as defined by section 157A of the
    15Government of Wales Act 2006, or

    (b)

    a person providing services to a devolved Welsh authority as
    defined by that section.

(2) The Scottish Ministers are the appropriate national authority in relation to
regulations under section 52(5) which specify a person who is, or a description
20of persons each of whom is, a Scottish body.

(3) The Welsh Ministers are the appropriate national authority in relation to
regulations under section 52(5) which specify a person who is, or a description
of persons each of whom is, a Welsh body.

(4) The Department of Finance in Northern Ireland is the appropriate national
25authority in relation to regulations under section 52(5) which specify a person
who is, or a description of persons each of whom is, a Northern Ireland body.

CHAPTER 5 Sharing for research purposes

60 Disclosure of information for research purposes

(1) 30Information held by a public authority in connection with the authority’s
functions may be disclosed to another person for the purposes of research
which is being or is to be carried out.

(2) If the information is personal information it may not be disclosed under
subsection (1) unless the following conditions are met.

(3) 35The first condition is that, if the information identifies a particular person, it is
processed before it is disclosed so that—

(a) the person’s identity is not specified in the information, and

(b) it is not reasonably likely that the person’s identity will be deduced
from the information (whether by itself or taken together with other
40information).

(4) For the purposes of the first condition the information may be processed by—

(a) the public authority,

(b) a person other than the public authority, or

(c) both the public authority and a person other than the public authority,

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(subject to the following provisions of this Part).

(5) Personal information may be disclosed for the purpose of processing it for
disclosure under subsection (1)—

(a) by a public authority to a person involved in processing the
5information for that purpose;

(b) by one such person to another such person.

(6) Information may be disclosed under subsection (5)(b)—

(a) only with the consent of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue
and Customs, if it is information to which section 63(5) applies;

(b) 10only with the consent of the Welsh Revenue Authority, if it is
information to which section 64(5) applies;

(c) only with the consent of Revenue Scotland, if it is information to which
section 65(5) applies.

(7) The second condition is that each person who is involved in processing the
15information for disclosure takes reasonable steps to—

(a) minimise the risk of the accidental disclosure of information which
identifies a particular person, and

(b) prevent the deliberate disclosure of such information (otherwise than
in accordance with this Chapter).

(8) 20The third condition is that the disclosure is made by the public authority or by
a person, other than the public authority, who is involved in processing the
information for disclosure under subsection (1).

(9) The fourth condition is that the research for the purposes of which the
information is disclosed is accredited under section 67.

(10) 25The fifth condition is that the following are accredited under section 67—

(a) any person (including the public authority) who is involved in
processing the information for disclosure under subsection (1);

(b) any person to whom information is disclosed under subsection (1);

(c) any person by whom such information is used for research purposes.

(11) 30The sixth condition is that each person who discloses the information or is
involved in processing it for disclosure under subsection (1) has regard to the
code of practice under section 66 in doing so.

(12) For the purposes of this Chapter information is “personal information” if—

(a) it relates to a particular person (including a body corporate), but

(b) 35it is not information about the internal administrative arrangements of
a public authority.

(13) For the purposes of this Chapter information identifies a particular person if
the identity of that person—

(a) is specified in the information,

(b) 40can be deduced from the information, or

(c) can be deduced from the information taken together with any other
information.

(14) This section is subject to section 61.