Digital Economy Bill (HL Bill 122)

Digital Economy BillPage 40

(a) amend Schedule 6 so as to add, remove or modify an entry relating to
a person or description of person;

(b) amend subsection (1) so as to add or remove a person or description of
person to whom information may be disclosed;

(c) 5amend subsection (3) so as to add, modify or remove a reference to a
water poverty measure.

(6) Regulations under subsection (5)(a) may add an entry relating to a person or a
description of person to Schedule 6 only if—

(a) the person is a public authority or (as the case may be) each person of
10that description is a public authority, or

(b) the person provides services to a public authority or (as the case may
be) each person of that description provides services to a public
authority.

(7) Regulations under subsection (5)(b) may add a person or a description of
15person to subsection (1) only if the person or (as the case may be) each person
of that description—

(a) provides assistance of a kind mentioned in subsection (2) to people
living in water poverty,

(b) monitors or enforces the provision of such assistance to such people,

(c) 20administers a water poverty measure, or

(d) provides services to a person within paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(8) In determining whether to make regulations under subsection (5)(a) or (b) in
relation to a person or description of person the appropriate national authority
must have regard, in particular, to—

(a) 25the systems and procedures for the secure handling of information by
that person or persons of that description, and

(b) in the case of regulations which remove a person from Schedule 6 or
subsection (1), whether that person, or any person providing services
to that person, has had regard to the code of practice under section 46
30as required by that section.

(9) In the case of a person (“P”) who is a specified person merely because of
providing services to a public authority, the reference in subsection (1) to the
functions of a specified person is limited to the functions P exercises for that
purpose.

(10) 35For the purposes of this Chapter a person lives in water poverty if the person
is a member of a household living on a lower income in a home which—

(a) cannot be supplied with water at a reasonable cost, or

(b) cannot be supplied with sewerage services at a reasonable cost.

(11) In this section “water poverty measure” means—

(a) 40a scheme, arrangement or set of arrangements, or

(b) a function or set of functions,

which has as its purpose (or one of its purposes) the provision of assistance of
a kind mentioned in subsection (2) to people living in water poverty.


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42 Disclosure of information by water and sewerage undertakers etc

(1) If the condition in subsection (2) is met, a person to whom information may be
disclosed under section 41 may disclose information held by that person to a
specified person.

(2) 5That condition is that the disclosure is for the purpose of assisting people living
in water poverty in England and Wales by—

(a) reducing their water or sewerage costs,

(b) improving efficiency in their use of water, or

(c) improving their health or financial well-being.

43 10Further provisions about disclosures under any of sections 38 to 42

(1) Personal information disclosed under any of sections 38 to 42 may only be used
by the person to whom it is disclosed for the purposes for which it was
disclosed, subject to subsection (2).

(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the use of information by a person—

(a) 15if the information has already lawfully been made available to the
public,

(b) if the person to whom the information relates consents to its use for
another purpose,

(c) for the prevention or detection of crime or the prevention of anti-social
20behaviour,

(d) for the purposes of a criminal investigation,

(e) for the purposes of legal proceedings (whether civil or criminal), or

(f) for the purposes of—

(i) preventing serious physical harm to a person,

(ii) 25preventing loss of human life,

(iii) safeguarding vulnerable adults or children,

(iv) responding to an emergency, or

(v) protecting national security.

(3) In subsection (2)(c) “anti-social behaviour” means conduct that—

(a) 30is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or

(b) is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to
that person’s occupation of residential premises.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply to information disclosed to a person under
section 38, 39 or 41 by the Revenue and Customs; but such information may be
35used by that person for purposes other than those for which it was disclosed
with the consent of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and
Customs (which may be general or specific).

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

(a) it relates to and identifies a particular person (including a body
40corporate), but

(b) it is not information about the internal administrative arrangements of
a specified person or a person to whom information may be disclosed
under section 39 or 41.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) information identifies a particular person if
45the identity of that person—

Digital Economy BillPage 42

(a) is specified in the information,

(b) can be deduced from the information, or

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

(7) 5A disclosure under any of sections 38 to 42 does not breach—

(a) any obligation of confidence owed by the person making the
disclosure, or

(b) any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however
imposed).

(8) 10But nothing in sections 38 to 42 authorises the making of a disclosure which—

(a) contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998, or

(b) is prohibited by any of Parts 1 to 7 or Chapter 1 of Part 9 of the
Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

(9) Until the repeal of Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 by
15paragraphs 45 and 54 of Schedule 10 to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is
fully in force, subsection (8)(b) has effect as if it included a reference to that
Part.

(10) Sections 38 to 42 do not limit the circumstances in which information may be
disclosed apart from those sections.

44 20Confidentiality of personal information

(1) Personal information disclosed under any of sections 38 to 42 and received by
a person (“P”) may not be disclosed—

(a) by P, or

(b) by any other person who has received it directly or indirectly from P.

(2) 25Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure—

(a) which is required or permitted by any enactment (including any of
sections 38 to 42),

(b) which is required by an EU obligation,

(c) which is made in pursuance of an order of the court,

(d) 30of information which has already lawfully been made available to the
public,

(e) which is made for the prevention or detection of crime or the
prevention of anti-social behaviour,

(f) which is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation,

(g) 35which is made for the purposes of legal proceedings (whether civil or
criminal),

(h) which is a protected disclosure for any of the purposes of the
Employment Rights Act 1996 or the Employment Rights (Northern
Ireland) Order 1996 (SI 1996/1919 (NI 16)),

(i) 40consisting of the publication of information for the purposes of
journalism, where the publication of the information is in the public
interest,

(j) which is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates, or

(k) which is made for the purposes of—

(i) 45preventing serious physical harm to a person,

(ii) preventing loss of human life,

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(iii) safeguarding vulnerable adults or children,

(iv) responding to an emergency, or

(v) protecting national security.

(3) In subsection (2)(e) “anti-social behaviour” means conduct that—

(a) 5is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or

(b) is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to
that person’s occupation of residential premises.

(4) A person commits an offence if—

(a) the person discloses personal information in contravention of
10subsection (1), and

(b) at the time that the person makes the disclosure, the person knows that
the disclosure contravenes that subsection or is reckless as to whether
the disclosure does so.

(5) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (4) is liable on conviction
15on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, to a fine or
to both.

(6) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (4) is liable on summary
conviction—

(a) in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12
20months, 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) in Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6
months, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.

(7) 25In 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) This section does not apply to personal information disclosed under section 38,
39 or 41 by the Revenue and Customs.

45 30Information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs

(1) Personal information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs under section 38,
39 or 41 and received by a person may not be disclosed by that person.

(2) Subsection (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
35general 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
prove that the person reasonably believed—

(a) that the disclosure was lawful, or

(b) 40that 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
Customs Act 2005 apply to an offence under subsection (3) as they apply to an
offence under that section.

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46 Code of practice

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

(a) the disclosure of information under any of sections 38 to 42, and

(b) the use of information disclosed under any of those sections.

(2) 5The 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 person to whom the code applies must have regard to the code of practice—

(a) in disclosing information under any of sections 38 to 42, and

(b) 10in using information disclosed under any of those sections.

(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
consult—

(a) 15the Information Commissioner,

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

(c) the Scottish Ministers,

(d) the Welsh Ministers,

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

(f) 20such other persons as the relevant Minister thinks appropriate.

(6) The 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) The relevant Minister may not issue the code of practice unless a draft of the
25code has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of
Parliament.

(8) Before reissuing the code the relevant Minister must lay a draft of the code as
proposed to be reissued before Parliament.

(9) The relevant Minister may not reissue the code if, within the 40-day period,
30either House of Parliament resolves not to approve it.

(10) In subsection (9) “the 40 day period” means—

(a) the period of 40 days beginning with the day on which the draft is laid
before Parliament, or

(b) if the draft is not laid before each House on the same day, the period of
3540 days beginning with the later of the days on which it is laid before
Parliament.

(11) For the purposes of subsection (10) no account is to be taken of any period
during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both
Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

(12) 40As 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
it before—

(a) the Scottish Parliament,

(b) the National Assembly for Wales, and

(c) 45the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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(13) In disclosing information under any of sections 38 to 42, a person must have
regard to the following codes of practice issued by the Information
Commissioner under section 51(3) of the Data Protection Act 1998, so far as
they apply to the information in question—

(a) 5any code which makes provision about the identification and reduction
of the risks to privacy of a proposal to disclose information;

(b) any code which makes provision about the information to be provided
to data subjects (within the meaning of that Act) about the use to be
made of information collected from them.

(14) 10The duty in subsection (13) does not affect any other requirement for the
person to have regard to a code of practice in disclosing the information.

47 Regulations 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
15Ministers, by statutory instrument, and

(b) in the case of regulations made by the Department of Finance in
Northern 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) 20may make different provision for different purposes;

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

(3) In the case of—

(a) regulations under section 38(3) which amend Schedule 4 so as to add an
25entry relating to a person or description of person,

(b) regulations under section 39(5)(a) which amend Schedule 5 so as to add
an entry relating to a person or description of person, or

(c) regulations under section 41(5)(a) which amend Schedule 6 so as to add
an entry relating to a person or description of person,

30this includes power 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 45 in relation to information disclosed by the Revenue and Customs.

(4) Before making regulations under this Chapter the appropriate national
authority must consult—

(a) 35the Information Commissioner,

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

(c) each other person who is the appropriate national authority in relation
to regulations under this Chapter,

(d) where the appropriate national authority is not the relevant Minister,
40the Minister for the Cabinet Office, and

(e) such other persons as the appropriate national authority thinks
appropriate.

(5) The fact that a power to make regulations under this Chapter was not in force
when consultation of the kind mentioned in subsection (4) took place is to be
45disregarded in determining whether there has been compliance with that
subsection.

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(6) The appropriate national authority may only make regulations under section
38(7), 39(5)(c) or 41(5)(c) with the consent of the Treasury in a case where the
regulations could affect the disclosure of information by the Revenue and
Customs.

(7) 5A 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.

(8) Regulations made under this Chapter by the Scottish Ministers are subject to
the affirmative procedure.

(9) 10A statutory instrument containing regulations made under this Chapter 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.

(10) Regulations under this Chapter may not be made by the Department of
Finance in Northern Ireland unless a draft of the regulations has been laid
15before, and approved by a resolution of, the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(11) If a draft of a statutory instrument containing regulations under section 38(3),
39(5)(a) or (b) or 41(5)(a) or (b) 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.

48 20Interpretation of this Chapter etc

(1) In this Chapter—

  • “the appropriate national authority” means the relevant Minister, subject
    to subsections (2) to (7);

  • “enactment” includes—

    (a)

    25an 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,
    30Northern Ireland legislation;

    (d)

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

  • “function” means function of a public nature;

  • “personal information” has the meaning given by section 43(5);

  • 35“public authority” means a person who exercises functions of a public
    nature, subject to subsection (8);

  • “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
    40Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005.

(2) The Scottish Ministers are the appropriate national authority in relation to—

(a) regulations under section 38(3) or 39(5)(a) which add, modify or
remove an entry relating to a person who is, or a description of persons
each of whom is, a Scottish body,

(b) 45regulations under section 39(5)(b) which add or remove a person who
is, or a description of persons each of whom is, a Scottish body, and

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(c) regulations under section 38(7) or 39(5)(c) which have the effect only of
enabling a Scottish body to disclose information for the purposes of an
objective which does not relate to a reserved matter (within the
meaning of the Scotland Act 1998).

(3) 5In subsection (2) “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) a person providing services to a person within paragraph (a) or (b).

(4) 10The Welsh Ministers are the appropriate national authority in relation to—

(a) regulations under section 38(3), 39(5)(a) or 41(5)(a) which add, modify
or remove an entry relating to a person who is, or a description of
persons each of whom is, a Welsh body,

(b) regulations under section 39(5)(b) or 41(5)(b) which add or remove a
15person who is, or a description of persons each of whom is, a Welsh
body, and

(c) regulations under section 38(7), 39(5)(c) or 41(5)(c) which have the
effect only of enabling a Welsh body to disclose information for the
purposes of an objective which could be specified by provision falling
20within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales.

(5) In subsection (4) “Welsh body” means—

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

(b) a person providing services to a devolved Welsh authority as defined
25by that section.

(6) The Department of Finance in Northern Ireland is the appropriate national
authority in relation to—

(a) regulations under section 38(3) which add, modify or remove an entry
relating to a person who is, or a description of persons each of whom is,
30a Northern Ireland body, and

(b) regulations under section 38(7) which have the effect only of enabling a
Northern Ireland body to disclose information for the purposes of an
objective which relates to a transferred matter (within the meaning of
the Northern Ireland Act 1998).

(7) 35In subsection (6) “Northern Ireland body” means—

(a) a 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) 40a person providing services to a person within paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(8) A person is not a public authority for the purposes of this Chapter if, apart from
this subsection, the person would be a public authority for those purposes
merely because the person exercises functions on behalf of another public
authority.

(9) 45References in this Chapter to people living in fuel poverty are to be construed
in accordance with section 39(10).

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(10) References in this Chapter to people living in water poverty are to be construed
in accordance with section 41(10).

(11) The power of the Secretary of State in section 69(2) of the Wales Act 2017 to
amend an enactment contained in primary legislation in consequence of any
5provision of that Act includes power to amend this Chapter, and section 122 so
far as relating to this Chapter, in consequence of section 48 (water and
sewerage) of that Act.

CHAPTER 2 Civil registration

49 10Disclosure of information by civil registration officials

(1) The Registration Service Act 1953 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 19A insert—

19AA Disclosure of information

(1) A civil registration official may, subject to this section, disclose any
15information held in connection with any of the official’s functions to—

(a) a specified public authority (see section 19AB), or

(b) any other civil registration official.

(2) A civil registration official may disclose information under this section
only if the official is satisfied that the authority or civil registration
20official to whom it is disclosed (the “recipient”) requires the
information to enable the recipient to exercise one or more of the
recipient’s functions.

(3) A disclosure under this section does not breach any obligation of
confidence owed by the civil registration official making the disclosure.

(4) 25The power to disclose information under this section is subject to any
express restriction on disclosure imposed by another enactment
(ignoring any restriction which allows disclosure if authorised by an
enactment).

(5) This section does not limit the circumstances in which information may
30be disclosed apart from this section.

(6) “Civil registration official” means—

(a) the Registrar General;

(b) a superintendent registrar of births, deaths and marriages;

(c) a registrar of births and deaths;

(d) 35a registrar of marriages;

(e) each of the following in its capacity as a registration authority
within the meaning of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Civil
Partnership Act 2004 (see section 28 of that Act)—

(i) a county council in England;

(ii) 40the council of any district in England comprised in an
area for which there is no county council;

(iii) a London borough council;

(iv) the Common Council of the City of London;

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(v) the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(vi) a county council in Wales;

(vii) a county borough council in Wales.

19AB Specified public authorities

(1) 5Each of the following public authorities is a “specified public authority”
for the purposes of section 19AA—

(a) a Minister of the Crown;

(b) the Welsh Government;

(c) a department of the government of the United Kingdom;

(d) 10the Greater London Authority;

(e) a county council in England;

(f) a district council in England;

(g) a London borough council;

(h) the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a
15local authority;

(i) the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(j) a county council in Wales;

(k) a county borough council in Wales;

(l) an NHS body within the meaning of the National Health
20Service Act 2006 (see section 275 of that Act).

(2) The Minister may by regulations amend subsection (1) so as to add,
modify or remove a reference to a public authority or description of
public authority.

(3) Regulations under this section must be made by statutory instrument.

(4) 25Regulations under this section may—

(a) make different provision for different purposes;

(b) contain consequential, incidental, supplemental, transitional or
transitory provision or savings.

(5) The provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (4)(b) includes
30provision amending, repealing or revoking any provision of any
enactment.

(6) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section may
not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and
approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(7) 35In this section—

  • “enactment” includes an enactment contained in subordinate
    legislation within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978;

  • “public authority” means a person who exercises functions of a
    public nature.

19AC 40Code of practice

(1) The Registrar General must issue a code of practice about the disclosure
of information under section 19AA.

(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
45(as altered or replaced from time to time).