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Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 36:



(a) make such technical facilities available to the Commissioner, and
(b) subject to the approval of the Treasury as to numbers, provide the Commissioner with such staff,
as are sufficient to secure that the Commissioner is able properly to carry out his functions.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, government Amendment No. 36 is designed to respond to Opposition concerns that the interception commissioner may not be provided with sufficient resources to do his job. Voicing those concerns, the noble Lord, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, made telling remarks on Report about the provisions of the Bill which relate to commissioner oversight. We have taken his comments to heart. I hope that he agrees.

We all agree that the commissioners are an important part of the Bill's safeguards; and these amendments have been devised to provide reassurance that the commissioners will be in a position to do their job effectively.

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Amendment No. 36 imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to provide the commissioner with the technical facilities and staff as are sufficient to enable him properly to carry out his functions. Coupled with the requirement in Clause 58 that all those involved in the interception regime disclose to the commissioner all the documents and information he requires, I hope that the House will agree that the commissioner and his secretariat will be a force to be reckoned with, and that we have done what we can to give him the tools necessary to fulfil his expanded role as the regime enters a new era.

Amendments Nos. 39 and 40 are aimed to remove any doubts there may have been previously that the interception and intelligence services commissioners may report at any time to the Prime Minister on any matter relating to their functions as they think fit. We have extended this power to both commissioners for consistency's sake. We do not need to do that as regards the Chief Surveillance Commissioner. He has this power in Section 107 of the Police Act 1997. I beg to move.

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Geddes): My Lords, I must advise by your Lordships that if Amendment No. 36 is agreed to, I cannot call Amendment No. 37 due to pre-emption.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, at times during debate on the Bill it has been rather like mapping in a fog. However, one matter has stood out with absolute clarity: unless we have an effective enforcer of those provisions in the Bill designed to protect against abuse of the very large powers to be enacted, the job will be ill done. For that reason, we on these Benches felt strongly about resources as regards the interception of communications commissioner. I am delighted to read the Government's amendment, which appears to be slightly stronger than the amendment I ventured to put forward. I am therefore entirely in accord with the Government's proposal.

Lord Nolan: My Lords, speaking as a former commissioner, I welcome the amendments. When the Bill is enacted, the burden on the interception of communications commissioner will be greatly extended. In Committee I spoke of my fear that it may prove to be too much for one retired judge. It would certainly be too much for a serving judge and it may be necessary to appoint an assistant commissioner to help bear the load. Let us see what my successor feels about that after the Bill has come into force.

As regards access to the Prime Minister, de facto that has always been so. I have never had any difficulty in speaking to any Secretary of State and on one occasion when I thought it necessary I saw the Prime Minister within a very short time. There is no harm, and it would be all the better, to have that position enshrined in legislation. I therefore welcome the measures.

Before sitting down, perhaps from a watching position I may offer a few words of congratulation on the many good things the Bill has done to improve the

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interception process without in any way compromising the principles of safeguarding the citizen on which it is based. I shall not take up your Lordships' time with details, but all sides in your Lordships' House have combined to bring about the measures. There has been virtually no controversy about them and I am sure that the Bill is a welcome result for citizens.

Lord Bach: My Lords, the whole House will be grateful for the comments made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Nolan, who has huge experience and expertise in this area. I am also grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, for his comments.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 37 not moved.]

Clause 58 [Co-operation with and reports by s. 57 Commissioner]:

Lord Phillips of Sudbury had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 38:


    Page 65, line 31, at end insert ("and may at any time report to him on any matter relating to his discharge of those functions").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I am content with the Government's Amendments Nos. 39 and 40 and shall not move Amendment No. 38.

[Amendment No. 38 not moved.]

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 39:


    Page 65, line 31, at end insert-


("( ) The Interception of Communications Commissioner may also, at any time, make any such other report to the Prime Minister on any matter relating to the carrying out of the Commissioner's functions as the Commissioner thinks fit.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 60 [Co-operation with and reports by s. 59 Commissioner]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 40:


    Page 67, line 25, at end insert-


("( ) The Intelligence Services Commissioner may also, at any time, make any such other report to the Prime Minister on any matter relating to the carrying out of the Commissioner's functions as the Commissioner thinks fit.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 61 [Investigatory Powers Commissioner for Northern Ireland]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 41:


    Page 69, leave out line 3 and insert ("in Northern Ireland-


(a) in any capacity in which he is or was the holder of a high judicial office (within the meaning of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876); or
(b) as a county court judge.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, we tabled the amendment at the request of colleagues in Northern Ireland. Your Lordships may remember that at an earlier stage we tabled provisions relating to the post of an investigatory powers commissioner for Northern Ireland; and that is now Clause 61 of the Bill. The amendment slightly broadens the range of judicial figures who could hold the appointment. I beg to move.

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 65 [The Tribunal]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 42:


    Page 71, line 10, after ("services;") insert-


("( ) they are proceedings brought by virtue of section 55(4);").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 43:


    Page 72, line 8, at end insert-


("but conduct does not take place in changeable circumstances to the extent that it is authorised by, or takes place with the permission of, a judicial authority").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendments Nos. 43 to 45 respond to concerns that complaints about Section 49 notices may go to the tribunal established by the Bill if they are authorised by the Secretary of State, and to a court if authorised by that court. But they have nowhere to go otherwise; in other words, there is no avenue of complaint available concerning notices which are authorised internally by the police, Customs and the military. These amendments remedy that omission and ensure that a right of redress is provided in all circumstances. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 44 and 45:


    Page 72, leave out lines 16 to 19 and insert-


("(d) a permission for the purposes of Schedule 2 to this Act;
(e) a notice under section 49 of this Act; or").


    Page 72, line 36, at end insert-


("(11) In this section "judicial authority" means-
(a) any judge of the High Court or of the Crown Court or any Circuit Judge;
(b) any judge of the High Court of Justiciary or any sheriff;
(c) any justice of the peace;
(d) any county court judge or resident magistrate in Northern Ireland;
(e) any person holding any such judicial office as entitles him to exercise the jurisdiction of a judge of the Crown Court or of a justice of the peace.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 73 [Conduct in relation to wireless telegraphy]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 46:


    Page 81, line 46, leave out ("(4)") and insert ("(4)(a) or (c) to (g)").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is a technical amendment to Clause 73, which amends Section 5 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. This amendment arises out of concern raised by the Department of Trade and Industry in relation to the activities of Radiocommunications Agency (RA) officials. RA officials monitor radio transmissions to determine whether those transmitting have the appropriate licences for their activities and are complying with

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those licences. This activity currently takes place under the provisions of Section 5 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

We are content that the Wireless Telegraphy Act provides sufficient cover, including Human Rights Act cover, for the RA's monitoring activities and that it therefore does not need a Part II authorisation for this monitoring. However, as some of its conduct could be capable of being authorised under Part II, the amendment to Section 5 set out in Clause 73 as drafted might prevent the RA obtaining authorisations under the Wireless Telegraphy Act.

This amendment is required to ensure that the RA is not precluded from obtaining a Wireless Telegraphy Act authority. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 78 [Orders, regulations and rules]:


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