Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Ninth Report


APPENDIX 2

Memorandum by the Department of Trade and Industry

TELECOMMUNICATIONS (DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY) REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/2093)

  1. The Committee has requested a memorandum on two points.

(1)  Regulation 2(3) provides that expressions used in both the Regulations and the Directives are to have the same meaning in the Regulations as they have in the Directive except where the context otherwise requires. Explain the reasons for including the underlined words. The Department's attention is drawn to the Committee's Eighth Report (1998-99 Session) on S.I. 1998/3170.

  2. The Department regrets that it failed to take account of paragraph 11 of the Committee's Report referred to above. It accepts that paragraphs (3) and (4) of regulation 2 are defectively drafted, in that the underlined words should not have been included in paragraph (3) and that words such as "without prejudice to the effect of paragraph (3)" should have been included in paragraph (4). The Regulations do not come into force until 1st March 2000, and amendments will be made to correct the defects before then.

(2)  The effect of the amendment to section 1(6) of the Telecommunications Act 1984 made by paragraph 1 of Part II of Schedule 1 to the Regulations is that the expenses of the Director General of Telecommunications will fall to be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament. Are those expenses likely to be significant in amount?

  3. The Director has incurred outgoings in consequence of regulations 7 and 9 of S.I. 1998/3170 (which will be replaced by regulations 23 and 25 of the Regulations under consideration) in appointing a company to run the "opt-out" schemes under paragraph (6) of each of those regulations. This has involved a one-off cost expected to be no more than £10,000. The costs of running the schemes themselves will be off-set by the fees received under them. The Director General will also incur expenditure in monitoring the company's running of the schemes, but the Director's staff are of the opinion that this expenditure will be minimal and will be borne by existing resources. The other provision of the Regulations which could give rise to expenditure by the Director is regulation 38, under which the Director may be required to provide technical advice to the Data Protection Commissioner: the Director's staff are of the opinion that the cost of meeting any such request, should one be received, would also be borne by existing resources.

25th October 1999


 
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