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Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 29:


Page 53, line 32, after ("means") insert ("provisions made by or under").

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The noble Lord said: My Lords, it has been argued that, as drafted, the inspector's powers to inspect premises under the Bill could be interpreted as being restricted to checking compliance with provisions in the primary legislation alone. That is clearly not desirable. The amendment puts beyond doubt that the inspector will be able to work under the regulations as well as the primary legislation. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 89 [Warrants]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 30:


Page 54, line 22, leave out ("or").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall speak at the same time to Amendments Nos. 31 and 32. The amendments concern Clause 89, under which the authority may apply to a justice of the peace for a warrant to enter and search premises. Amendments Nos. 30 and 32 add to the circumstances in which the authority may apply to the court for such a warrant. They provide that justices of the peace may issue a warrant if they are satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person is liable to be prohibited from being a trustee of a scheme.

Amendment No. 31 is a minor drafting amendment which clarifies the meaning of "penalty" in Clause 89(1) (c) (iii). The meaning of "penalty" may be unclear and open to different interpretations. The amendment substitutes a reference to the authority's power to impose civil penalties under Clause 9 and Section 168(4) of the Pension Schemes Act and is intended to avoid doubt. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

5.30 p.m.

Lord Lucas moved Amendments Nos. 31 and 32:


Page 54, line 23, leave out ("this Act or") and insert ("section 9 of this Act or section 168(4) of").
Page 54, line 25, at end insert ("or
( ) a person is liable to be prohibited from being a trustee of a trust scheme under section (Prohibition orders),").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 33:


Page 54, line 46, leave out ("three") and insert ("six").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment extends from three to six months the period for which the authority may retain documents obtained by exercise of a warrant under Clause 89. The only exception to this limit is where proceedings are commenced within the six-month period, in which case any relevant documents may be retained by the authority until those proceedings are concluded.

Extending the time limit to six months will allow the authority a reasonable length of time in which to decide whether any proceedings are appropriate. The authority will not hold documents for any longer than is absolutely necessary and will be well aware of the need to keep disruption of the scheme to a minimum. Nevertheless, it is important that investigations are not hampered by an unduly restrictive deadline.

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The power to obtain warrants will be used only where there are reasonable grounds for believing that a serious breach of a statutory obligation has occurred. Given the potential complexity of an investigation into the management of a large pension scheme, it is vital that the authority's inspectors have the time they need to conduct a thorough and proper investigation. A six-month time limit will bring the period for which documents may be held in line with the time limit for laying information in a magistrates' court.

When investigating offences or executing warrants issued under this provision, the authority's officers will have due regard to the appropriate code of practice issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. There is a code which specifically covers the exercise of powers to search premises and to seize and retain documents or records relating to the administration of a scheme. Among other things, the code provides that property shall not be retained for the purposes of an investigation, or for use as evidence, if a copy would suffice. It also provides for the person who had custody or control of any such property to have access to it, or to be provided with a copy of it, unless that would prejudice the investigation or proceedings.

It would be contrary to the authority's interests, having been set up specifically to ensure that those running schemes comply with their statutory obligations, if it were to allow its investigations to obstruct the day-to-day running of a scheme in a way which made it difficult for those running it to comply with the law.

We have selected a period for the retention of documents which we believe to be reasonable and which fits in with other provisions. We recognise that the removal of scheme documents may cause some inconvenience to schemes, but believe that it is a price worth paying to ensure that schemes are properly run. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 93 [Restricted information]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 34:


Page 56, line 23, leave out from ("Authority") to (which") in line 25 and insert ("in the exercise of their functions").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment is a drafting refinement. It is unnecessary to repeat the reference to the Bill and corresponding enactments for Northern Ireland. Moreover, as drafted, Clause 93(2) only protects information in the authority's possession gathered for the purposes of the authority's functions under the Bill. This is not our intention.

Where the authority investigates a particular scheme, it is likely to have access to a considerable amount of sensitive information relating to the affairs of the scheme and the parties to it. Not all of this information will necessarily be relevant to the exercise of the authority's functions, but could nevertheless be of a sensitive nature. It is therefore important that all information gathered by the authority while investigating possible infringements of duties and obligations should be protected by the safeguards in Clause 93. I beg to move.

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 94 [Information supplied to the Authority by corresponding overseas authorities]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 35:


Page 56, line 39, leave out from ("functions") to ("by") in line 40.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 35, I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 36, 37, 38 and 42.

These amendments all reflect legal advice to the effect that, as all the authority's functions are under the Bill, the Pension Schemes Act 1993 or corresponding provisions in Northern Ireland, it is not necessary to refer to those enactments in order to refer to the authority's functions. These amendments delete the unnecessary references. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 36:


Page 57, line 4, leave out from ("functions") to ("or") in line 5.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 95 [Disclosure for facilitating discharge of functions by the Authority]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendments Nos. 37 and 38:


Page 57, line 10, leave out from ("functions") to end of line 12.
Page 57, line 14, leave out from (functions") to ("the") in line 15.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 96 [Disclosure for facilitating discharge of functions by other supervisory authorities]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 39:


Page 58, column 2, leave out lines 9 to 14 and insert ("Functions under the enactments relating to insolvency").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 39, I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 40 and 41. These amendments are all concerned with the disclosure of restricted information by the authority.

Amendment No. 39 enables the authority to provide restricted information to the Official Receiver, or in Northern Ireland to the Official Receiver for Northern Ireland, to enable or assist him to discharge his functions under the enactment relating to insolvency. It widens the "information gateway" to the Official Receiver so that it is not unnecessarily restrictive and brings it into line with similar provisions in other enactments providing for information to be passed to the Official Receiver.

Amendment No. 40 provides for the authority to disclose restricted information with a view to instituting proceedings under Sections 7 or 8 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 or Articles 10 or 11 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. It removes the inappropriate restriction that limited it to disclosing information in respect of a director or former director of a company which is or was a trustee of a trust scheme, because the authority may come into possession of relevant information concerning a person who does not fall into the category.

Amendment No. 41 provides for the authority to disclose restricted information in connection with any proceedings under the Insolvency Act 1986 or the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 which the

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authority instituted or in which it has a right to be heard. The amendment removes the restrictions that limited disclosure to functions under certain parts of the Insolvency Act 1986. I beg to move.


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