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Publication - Guidance

Equipment interference code of practice

Published: 20 Dec 2017

Code of practice issued under section 24 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000.

51 page PDF

470.5 kB

51 page PDF

470.5 kB

Contents
Equipment interference code of practice
7 Oversight

51 page PDF

470.5 kB

7 Oversight

7.1 The Investigatory Powers Tribunal ( IPT) has jurisdiction to consider and determine complaints against public authority use of certain investigatory powers, including those covered by this code. Any complaints about the use of powers as described in this code should be directed to the IPT.

7.2 The IPC, and those who work under the authority of the IPC, will ensure compliance with the law by inspecting public authorities and investigating any issue which they believe requires further independent scrutiny. The IPC may undertake these inspections, as far as they relate to the IPC's statutory functions, entirely on his or her own initiative or they may be asked to investigate a specific issue by the Prime Minister.

7.3 The IPC will have unfettered access to all locations, documentation and information systems as necessary to carry out their full functions and duties. In undertaking such inspections, the IPC must not act in a way which is contrary to the public interest or jeopardises operations or investigations. All public authorities using investigatory powers must, by law, offer all necessary assistance to the IPC and anyone who is acting on behalf of the IPC.

7.4 Anyone working for a public authority or communications service provider who has concerns about the way that investigatory powers are being used may report their concerns to the IPC, who will consider them. In particular, any person who exercises the powers in the Act or described in this code must, in accordance with the procedure set out in chapter 6, report to the IPC any action undertaken which they believe to be contrary to the provisions of this code. This may be in addition to the person raising concerns through the internal mechanisms for raising concerns within the relevant public authority. The IPC may, if they believe it to be unlawful, refer any issue relating to the use of investigatory powers to the IPT.

7.5 Should the IPC uncover, or be made aware of, what they consider to be a serious error relating to an individual who has been subject to an investigatory power then, if it is in the public interest to do so, the IPC is under a duty to inform the individual affected. Further information on errors can be found in chapter 6 of this code. The public body which has committed the error will be able to make representations to the IPC before they make their decision on whether it is in the public interest for the individual to be informed. The IPC must also inform the affected individual of their right to apply to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (see chapter 8 on Complaints for more information on how this can be done) who will be able to fully investigate the error and decide if a remedy is appropriate. The IPC must report annually on the findings of their inspections and investigations. This report will be laid before the UK and Scottish Parliaments and will be made available to the public, subject to any necessary redactions made in the national interest. Only the Prime Minister will be able to authorise redactions to the IPC's report, after consultation with the IPC and the Scottish Ministers (so far as the report relates to functions under Part 3 of the Police Act 1997). If the IPC disagrees with the proposed redactions to his or her report then the IPC may inform the Intelligence and Security Committee of the Westminster Parliament that they disagree with them.

7.6 The IPC may also report, at any time, on any of his or her investigations and findings as they see fit. These reports will also be made publicly available subject to public interest considerations. Relevant agencies and communications service providers may seek general advice from the IPC on any issue which falls within the IPC's statutory remit.


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