|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Prime Minister has today laid before Parliament the annual report for 200102 of the Chief Surveillance Commissioner on the discharge of his functions under Part III of the Police Act 1997 and Part II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. As required, under Section 107(3A) of the Police Act 1997, after consultation with the Chief Surveillance Commissioner the Prime Minister can confirm that no matter has been excluded from the enclosed report.
(a) no Minister or official from the Home Office formally agreed the specification for the contract with Capita to process criminal record checks, or
(b) no Minister or official from the Home Office was responsible for the actual procurement of the contract with Capita to process criminal record checks.[HL211]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Bernard Herdan, chief executive of the Criminal Records Bureau, (CRB) was the senior Home Office official responsible for the specification and for the actual award of the contract to Capita to process criminal record checks. Mr Herdan was, and remains, the senior accountable officer for the CRB.
Who is authorised to see personal bank and building society details which appear on an application form for a criminal record check; and what guarantee there is for the applicant that such information cannot be used or abused.[HL213]
3 Dec 2002 : Column WA90
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: All Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) staff are authorised to see applicants' personal information supplied on the disclosure application form. All civil servants and Capita staff must be cleared to government security standards, undertaken by the Home Office Security Unit. In addition all civil servant CRB staff who are responsible for seeing and handling sensitive disclosure information are checked to the same level as enhanced disclosures. Only civil servants have access to the sensitive information held by the police and other data sources. The CRB carries out security checks on the employees of the data processing companies contracted to it. Contractors are also under a legal requirement to ensure their staff respect the confidential nature of the information released to them by an applicant.
The scope of personal information available within and to the CRB is limited, precisely to prevent information being used inappropriately. All information on applicants is held confidentially in secure computer files, and we have taken steps to ensure that our systems and procedures prevent authorised access and unlawful disclosure. The CRB has taken advice from the Information Commissioner during the time when the disclosure application forms and our procedures were being drafted, and all personal information applications provide with their disclosure application will be protected under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The contract contains a series of "Milestones" schedule dates, which, in turn have liquidated damage (financial remedies) regimes attached to them. The contract also defines contracted service levels, failure to achieve these results in financial remedies being applied by the agency. Both categories of financial remedy have been applied.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: All controlled drugs are harmful and will remain illegal. Drug misuse is the biggest challenge society faces. It damages the health and life chances of individuals. It undermines family life, turns law-abiding citizens into thieves and erodes communities. It is essential that we educate the young about the dangers of drugs, prevent drug misuse, tackle the dealers to reduce the prevalence of drugs on the streets and reduce the harm drugs cause.
In 1998 the first cross-cutting strategy was introduced to tackle drug trafficking, supply and misuse. This update builds on the foundations laid and the lessons learnt. We must concentrate on the most dangerous drugs, the most damaged communities and the individuals whose addiction and chaotic lifestyles are the most harmful, both to themselves and others. Education, prevention, enforcement, treatment and harm minimisation are our most powerful tools.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos): On 2 December 2002, Her Majesty's Government published a report on human rights abuses in Iraq. It is based on intelligence material, first-hand accounts of Iraqi victims of torture and oppression, and reports amassed by NGOs over the past decade. The report examines Iraq's record on torture, the treatment of women, prison conditions, arbitrary and summary killings, the persecution of the Kurds and Shia, the harassment of opposition figures outside Iraq and the occupation of Kuwait.
The Iraqi regime's contempt for international law and its attachment to weapons of mass destruction were documented in the Government's dossier published on 24 September. Its dreadful human rights record is widely known. Her Majesty's Government consider it important that Parliament and the public should have accurate information about the awful reality of Saddam Hussein's policy of regime terror, which sustains his rule inside Iraq.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|