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Lord Renton: My Lords, on Amendment No. 72, which is very necessary, there is just one point on which we need clarification. Subsection (6) on page 8 refers to "a relevant record" which means a record which,


We are then told what subject matter can be provided.

We have various laws, and I am sorry that I do not carry them in my head and I have not had time to look them up, which have the effect that some convictions can no longer be used by the courts or in any other way after a period of time. It does not apply to all offences but it is a rather important provision. I remember it being passed many years ago in another place.

I very much hope that the information that can be given under that new clause and in the proposed "Table" will exclude anything which has, by the passage of time, been forbidden for use by the courts, or in any other way. If the Minster can give that undertaking, I am sure that we would all be very much happier.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, the legislation that the noble Lord had in mind is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. As the noble Lord quite rightly says, for a longer period of time, some convictions--and I shall not irritate the House by going into detail--are regarded as spent and, therefore, cannot be used in certain circumstances. As I understand the construction of the new clause, nothing in it will affect the protections provided by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. If I am wrong in that respect, I shall immediately correct myself in writing to the noble Lord.

Lord Renton: My Lords, I am most grateful to the Minister for that undertaking.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

10 Jul 1998 : Column 1504

COMMONS AMENDMENT

73 After Clause 54, insert the following new clause--
Avoidance of certain contractual terms relating to health records

'.--(1) Any term or condition of a contract is void in so far as it purports to require an individual--
(a) to supply any other person with a record to which this section applies, or with a copy of such a record or a part of such a record, or
(b) to produce to any other person such a record, copy or part.
(2) This section applies to any record which--
(a) has been or is to be obtained by a data subject in the exercise of the right conferred by section 7, and
(b) consists of the information contained in any health record as defined by section (Meaning of "accessible record")(2).'.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 73.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 73.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

74 Clause 56, page 33, line 6, leave out 'for reasons of substantial' and insert 'in the'.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 74. The purpose of Clause 56 is to put a duty of confidentiality, subject to a criminal sanction, on the Data Protection Commissioner and her staff in respect of confidential information that they acquire in the course of their functions under the Bill. This provision flows from a requirement on member states in the directive. Article 28.7 requires us to ensure that the members and staff of our supervisory authority are subject to a duty of professional secrecy in respect of the confidential information to which they have access. There are a number of exemptions. One is where the disclosure is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.

Amendment No. 74 was proposed by the Government in the light of representations by the Campaign for Freedom of Information, to the effect that the substantial public interest posed too stiff a test. We thought about this and we agreed, on reflection, that it would be more consistent with the approach to freedom of information, while remaining consistent with the directive, to lower this threshold to simple public interest. That is one more step in helping to ensure that, in practice, the commissioner and her staff are not impeded from doing their job effectively.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 74.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

10 Jul 1998 : Column 1505

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): My Lords, I understand that the noble Lord, Lord Milner of Leeds--and, again, I am grateful for the warning--wishes to raise a point on Amendment No. 79. Therefore, what I propose to do, with the agreement of your Lordships, is to take Amendments Nos. 75 to 78 inclusive first, and then call Amendments Nos. 79 to 105.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

75 Clause 57, page 33, line 27, leave out 'or 54' and insert ' 54 or (Prohibition of requirement as to production of certain records),
( ) an offence under section 20(2) relating to processing which is assessable processing for the purposes of section 21,'.
76 After Clause 60, insert the following new clause--
'.--(1) This section applies to--
(a) a notice or request under any provision of Part II,
(b) a notice under subsection (1) of section 23 or particulars made available under that subsection, or
(c) an application under section 40(2),
but does not apply to anything which is required to be served in accordance with rules of court.
(2) The requirement that any notice, request, particulars or application to which this section applies should be in writing is satisfied where the text of the notice, request, particulars or application--
(a) is transmitted by electronic means,
(b) is received in legible form, and
(c) is capable of being used for subsequent reference.
(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that any requirement that any notice, request, particulars or application to which this section applies should be in writing is not to apply in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the regulations.'. <reason>77
77 Clause 63, page 36, leave out line 35.
78 Page 36, line 38, at end insert--
'section (Prohibition of requirement as to production of certain records)(8),'.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 75 to 78.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 75 to 78.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

79 Clause 63, page 37, line 10, after '2' insert 'or 7'.
80 Page 37, line 10, after '2' insert 'or 8A'.
81 Page 37, line 10, leave out 'or'.
82 Page 37, line 11, at end insert--
'paragraph 5A of Schedule 7'.

10 Jul 1998 : Column 1506


83 Page 37, line 12 leave out 'relating' and insert 'which--
(i) prescribe cases for the purposes of subsection (2)(b),
(ii) are made by virtue of subsection (6A), or
(iii) relate'.
84 Page 37, line 14, after ' 8(1)' insert 'or section (Application of section 7 where data controller is credit reference agency)(3)'.
85 Page 37, line 14, at end insert--
'(cc) regulations under section (Transmission of notices etc. by electronic or other means),'.
86 Page 37, line 21, leave out 'containing' and insert 'which contains only'.
87 After Clause 63, insert the following new clause--
Meaning of "accessible record"

'.--(1) In this Act "accessible record" means--
(a) a health record as defined by subsection (2),
(b) an educational record as defined by Schedule (Meaning of "educational record"), or
(c) an accessible public record as defined by Schedule (accessible public records.
(2) In subsection (1)(a) "health record" means any record which--
(a) consists of information relating to the physical or mental health or condition of an individual, and
(b) has been made by or on behalf of a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.'.
88 Insert the following new clause--
Meaning of "health professional"

'.--(1) In this Act "health professional" means any of the following--
(a) a registered medical practitioner,
(b) a registered dentist as defined by section 53(1) of the Dentists Act 1984 ,
(c) a registered optician as defined by section 36(1) of the Opticians Act 1989 ,
(d) a registered pharmaceutical chemist as defined by section 24(1) of the Pharmacy Act 1954 or a registered person as defined by Article 2(2) of the Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 ,
(e) a registered nurse, midwife or health visitor,
(f) a registered osteopath as defined by section 41 of the Osteopaths Act 1993 ,
(g) a registered chiropractor as defined by section 43 of the Chiropractors Act 1994 ,
(h) any person who is registered as a member of a profession to which the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960 for the time being extends,
(i) a clinical psychologist, child psychotherapist or speech therapist,
(j) a music therapist employed by a health service body, and
(k) a scientist employed by such a body as head of a department.
(2) In subsection (1)(a) "registered medical practitioner" includes any person who is provisionally registered under section 15 or 21 of the Medical Act 1983 and is engaged in such employment as is mentioned in subsection (3) of that section.
(3) In subsection (1) "health service body" means--

10 Jul 1998 : Column 1507


(a) a Health Authority established under section 8 of the National Health Service Act 1977 ,
(b) a Special Health Authority established under section 11 of that Act,
(c) a Health Board within the meaning of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 ,
(d) a Special Health Board within the meaning of that Act,
(e) the managers of a State Hospital provided under section 102 of that Act,
(f) a National Health Service trust first established under section 5 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 or section 12A of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978,
(g) a Health and Social Services Board established under Article 16 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 ,
(h) a special health and social services agency established under the Health and Personal Social Services (Special Agencies) (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 , or
(i) a Health and Social Services trust established under Article 10 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.'.
89 Clause 64, page 37, line 29, at end insert--
'"credit reference agency" has the same meaning as in the Consumer Credit Act 1974;'.
90 Page 37, leave out lines 41 to 45.
91 Page 38, line 8, at end insert--
'"pupil"--
(a) in relation to a school in England and Wales, means a registered pupil within the meaning of the Education Act 1996,
(b) in relation to a school in Scotland, means a pupil within the meaning of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, and
(c) in relation to a school in Northern Ireland, means a registered pupil within the meaning of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986;'.
92 Page 38, line 19, at end insert--
'"school"--
(a) in relation to England and Wales, has the same meaning as in the Education Act 1996,
(b) in relation to Scotland, has the same meaning as in the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, and
(c) in relation to Northern Ireland, has the same meaning as in the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986;
"teacher" includes--
(a) in Great Britain, head teacher, and
(b) in Northern Ireland, the principal of a school;'.
93 Page 38, line 25, at end insert--
'(2) For the purposes of this Act data are inaccurate if they are incorrect or misleading as to any matter of fact.'.
94 Clause 65, page 38, line 28, at end insert--
'accessible record section (Meaning of "accessible record")'.

95 Page 38, line 31, at end insert--
'credit reference agency section 64(1)'.

96 Page 38, line 40, at end insert--
'enactmentsection 64(1)'.

97 Page 38, line 44, column 2, leave out 'section 64' and insert 'section (Meaning of "health professional")'.
98 Page 38, line 44, at end insert--
'inaccurate (in relation to data)section 64(2)'.

99 Page 39, line 9, at end insert--
'pupil (in relation to a school) section 64(1)'.

10 Jul 1998 : Column 1508


100 Page 39, line 14, at end insert--
'school section 64(1)'.

101 Page 39, line 18, at end insert--
'teachersection 64(1)'.

102 Page 39, leave out line 21.
103 Clause 66, page 39, line 24, leave out '24th October 2001' and insert 'the commencement of this section'.
104 Clause 69, page 39, line 39, after 'section' insert--
'(ee) paragraph 17 of Schedule 5,
(ef) Schedule (Meaning of "educational record"),
(eg) Schedule (Accessible public records),'.
105 Page 40, line 3, at end insert--
'( ) The day appointed under subsection (3) for the coming into force of section (Prohibition of requirement as to production of certain records) must not be earlier than the first day on which sections 112, 113 and 115 of the Police Act 1997 (which provide for the issue by the Secretary of State of criminal conviction certificates, criminal record certificates and enhanced criminal record certificates) are all in force.'.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 79 to 105.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 79 to 105.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)


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