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Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 100 and 101:



    Page 19, line 25, leave out ("32") and insert ("31").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 22, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 23 [Investigations by the Council]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 102 and 103:


    Page 19, line 37, leave out second ("gas") and insert ("authorised").


    Page 19, line 40, leave out ("gas") and insert ("authorised").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

9.45 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 104:


    Page 20, line 9, leave out from ("unincorporate)") to end of line 14 and insert--


("(a) shall not be included in a report which is to be sent to any person under subsection (5)(a), unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (7) applies; and
(b) shall be excluded from any such report which is to be published under subsection (5)(b), unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (7A) applies.
(7) Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be sent under subsection (5)(a) if--").

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 104 I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 106, 108, 109, 114, 118, 120, 122, 123, 128, 132, 134, 136, 137, 139, 148 to 150, 293 and 301. Amendments Nos. 104, 106, 108, 109, 114, 118, 120, 122, 123 and 128 deal with the council's power to send a report on one of its investigations to recipients it believes may have an interest in it or to publish it. The amendments make clear that where it is relying on the consent of those to whom information within the report relates to disclose or publish then that consent may be in relation to disclosure to specific recipients or to publication.

The other amendments in this group are principally concerned with the possibility of disputes arising when the consumer council seeks information from licensees. They honour the undertaking I gave towards the end of the debate on Second Reading to allow for the appointment by regulation of an adjudicator to determine such disputes instead of the authority. This is achieved by Amendment No. 150, which inserts the new clause after Clause 26. The adjudicator would also determine any disputes that might arise when the council seeks information from the authority, or vice versa.

These amendments create the possibility of an alternative to resolution of council/licensee disputes by the authority, should we decide to make regulations. We are proposing them because we recognise that there is a case for retaining some flexibility as to who

13 Jun 2000 : Column 1629

is the best person to adjudicate disputed requests. As I indicated on Second Reading, one possibility that has been mentioned is the information commissioner to be created under the Freedom of Information Bill, who would have relevant expertise.

In addition, Amendment No. 132 amends Clause 24 so as to make as clear as possible the statement of the council's right to information. Similar provision is made in relation to the authority's right to information from the council by Amendment No. 148. As part of the creation of the power to make regulations setting out descriptions of information to which the council will not have an automatic right is transferred from Clause 24 to Clause 26A, which also gives rise to a consequential amendment, Amendment No. 136.

Amendments Nos. 293 and 301 are also consequential, whereby an order from the adjudicator or the authority, as the case may be, to comply with a council request for information is a relevant requirement, enforceable like a licence obligation.

Finally, Amendments Nos. 137 and 139 correct minor anomalies in the drafting of the conditions which apply to publication by the council of a notice from the authority giving reasons for withholding information from the council. I beg to move.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (The Countess of Mar): I should inform the Committee that if this amendment is agreed to, I cannot call Amendment No. 105 because of pre-emption.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 105 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 106:


    Page 20, line 19, leave out ("publication") and insert ("disclosure").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 107 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 108 and 109:


    Page 20, line 22, at end insert--


(7A) Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be published under subsection (5)(b) if--
(a) that individual or body has consented to the publication;
(b) it is information that is available to the public from some other source; or
(c) it is not information the publication of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual or body.").
Page 20, line 25, after ("(7)(c)") insert ("or (7A)(c)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 110 to 113 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 114 and 115:


    Page 20, line 28, at end insert ("or (7A)(c)").


    Page 20, line 33, at end insert--

13 Jun 2000 : Column 1630


("( ) In this section "authorised" has the same meaning as in section 31."").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 116 and 117 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 118:


    Page 21, line 5, leave out from ("unincorporate)") to end of line 10 and insert--


("(a) shall not be included in a report which is to be sent to any person under subsection (3)(a), unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (5) applies; and
(b) shall be excluded from any such report which is to be published under subsection (3)(b), unless one or more or paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (5A) applies.
(7) Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be sent under subsection (3)(a) if--").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 119 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 120:


    Page 21, line 15, leave out ("publication") and insert ("disclosure").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 121 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 122 and 123:


    Page 21, line 18, at end insert--


(5A) Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be published under subsection (3)(b) if--
(a) that individual or body has consented to the publication;
(b) it is information that is available to the public from some other source; or
(c) it is not information the publication of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual or body.").
Page 21, line 21, after ("(5)(c)") insert ("or (5A)(c)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 124 to 127 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 128:


    Page 21, line 24, at end insert ("or (5A)(c)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 129 and 130 not moved.]

Clause 23, as amended, agreed to.

[Amendment No. 131 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

        House adjourned at ten minutes before ten o'clock.


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