Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 177A:



("( ) approved person;").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, on the fifth day in Committee the noble Lord, Lord Saatchi--I am sorry not to see him in his place; I believe that he will also be sorry not to be in his place--moved an amendment that required the authority to maintain a public record of certain details about approved persons under Part V. That amendment was defeated.

At the time I spoke against the amendment. Our main concern was that from the outset the authority might have difficulty in establishing the relevant part of the public record. The particular difficulty arises because of the grandfathering arrangements that are proposed for employees of authorised firms. Our intention is that, for the purposes of Part V of the Bill, people should automatically be treated as having been approved for any controlled functions that they were performing when that part of the Bill is brought into force. The process will be automatic and we cannot be sure that the authority will have all the information in time for the public record to go live on day one.

However, we agree that it would be desirable to remove uncertainty on the question of the coverage of the register, and we have now brought forward amendments which require certain information to be included. That is the minimum that must be included. The authority may add to that such other information as it sees fit. The authority proposes also to include information about the controlled functions for which the person has approval. We have not made that a requirement as we do not yet know how approvals will be classified by the authority. Therefore, we cannot express what they would insert in the register.

By bringing forward the amendments in this group and by paying the necessary compliment to the noble Lord, Lord Saatchi, I hope that it will be clear that the Government have taken careful note of the points made by the noble Lord in Committee. We shall

9 May 2000 : Column 1527

endeavour, working with the authority, to bring the arrangements into force at the earliest moment. It shows that the Government listen. I beg to move.

Lord Kingsland: My Lords, this is indeed a rare moment to savour. The Government have thought again in the most constructive way. I should like to draw to the attention of the noble Lord, Lord Bach, that, if my memory serves me correctly, the noble Earl, Lord Home, also spoke most eloquently to that amendment and, indeed, I see that he is in his place. I believe that the House owes a great deal to his persuasive argument which led to the Government's change of mind.

12.15 a.m.

Lord Bach: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for reminding me of the noble Earl's contribution. I should pay him the same tribute as I paid to the noble Lord, Lord Saatchi.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 177B and 177C:


    Page 182, line 23, at end insert--


("(g) in the case of a person who is an approved person--
(i) his name;
(ii) the name of the relevant authorised person;
(iii) if the approved person is performing a controlled function under an arrangement with a contractor of the relevant authorised person, the name of the contractor.").


    Page 183, line 3, at end insert--


("(8) "Approved person" means a person in relation to whom the Authority has given its approval under section 58 and "controlled function" and "arrangement" have the same meaning as in that section.
(9) "Relevant authorised person" has the meaning given in section 65.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 343 [Restrictions on disclosure of confidential information by Authority etc]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 178:


    Page 183, line 16, leave out from beginning to ("and") and insert ("any provision made by or under this Act;").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 179 to 183. These amendments are intended to address concerns about the width of the power in Clause 344 which the Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee raised in its report on the Bill. The committee recommended that the Bill be amended to restrict that power in a way which clearly limits it to information needed for regulatory and other public functions. These amendments achieve that.

Amendments Nos. 178, 182 and 183 make technical drafting amendments to Clauses 343 and 344. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

9 May 2000 : Column 1528

Clause 344 [Exceptions from section 343]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 179 to 183:


    Page 184, line 6, after ("is") insert ("--


(a) made for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out of a public function; and
(b)")


    Page 184, line 13, after ("prescribed") insert ("public").


    Page 184, line 17, after ("prescribed") insert ("public").


    Page 184, line 23, leave out sub-paragraphs (ii) and (iii).


    Page 184, line 35, at end insert--


("(5) "Public functions" includes--
(a) functions conferred by or in accordance with any provision contained in any enactment or subordinate legislation;
(b) functions conferred by or in accordance with any provision contained in the Community Treaties or any Community instrument;
(c) similar functions conferred on persons by or under provisions having effect as part of the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom;
(d) functions exercisable in relation to prescribed disciplinary proceedings.
(6) "Enactment" includes--
(a) an Act of the Scottish Parliament;
(b) Northern Ireland legislation.
(7) "Subordinate legislation" has the meaning given in the Interpretation Act 1978 and also includes an instrument made under an Act of the Scottish Parliament or under Northern Ireland legislation.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 183VA:


    After Clause 345, insert the following new clause--

COMPETITION INFORMATION

(".--(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he has competition information (whether or not it was obtained by him) and improperly discloses it--
(a) if it relates to the affairs of an individual, during that individual's lifetime;
(b) if it relates to any particular business of a body, while that business continues to be carried on.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) a disclosure is improper unless it is made--
(a) with the consent of the person from whom it was obtained and, if different--
(i) the individual to whose affairs the information relates, or
(ii) the person for the time being carrying on the business to which the information relates;
(b) to facilitate the performance by a person mentioned in the first column of the table set out in Part I of Schedule (Competition Information) of a function mentioned in the second column of that table;
(c) in pursuance of a Community obligation;
(d) for the purpose of criminal proceedings in any part of the United Kingdom;
(e) in connection with the investigation of any criminal offence triable in the United Kingdom or any part of the United Kingdom;

9 May 2000 : Column 1529


(f) with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purposes of, civil proceedings brought under or in connection with--
(i) a competition provision; or
(ii) a specified enactment.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable--
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.
(4) Section 343 does not apply to competition information.
(5) "Competition information" means information which--
(a) relates to the affairs of a particular individual or body;
(b) is not otherwise in the public domain; and
(c) was obtained under or by virtue of a competition provision.
(6) "Competition provision" means any provision of--
(a) an order made under section (Competition scrutiny);
(b) Chapter III of Part X; or
(c) Chapter II of Part XVIII.
(7) "Specified enactment" means an enactment specified in Part II of Schedule (Competition Information).").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 226YA. These amendments are concerned with competition gateways. They form a new clause and a new schedule and they are the final chapter in the improvements we have made to the competition scrutiny regimes in the Bill. They address a concern raised in Committee in another place. They provide protection for confidential information obtained by the Director General of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission in carrying out their competition scrutiny responsibilities under the Bill.

They make it clear that such information must be kept confidential unless the persons concerned are content that it should be revealed or because it is necessary for the performance of one of a number of specific public purposes. Those purposes are set out in subsection (2) of the new clause and the new schedule. They are in line with the Competition Act 1998. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 377 [Restitution orders in cases of market abuse]:


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page