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"CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH REGISTRAR MAY PUT ADDRESS ON THE PUBLIC RECORD
(1) The registrar may put a director's usual residential address on the public record if
(a) communications sent by the registrar to the director and requiring a response within a specified period remain unanswered, or
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(b) there is evidence that service of documents at a service address provided in place of the director's usual residential address is not effective to bring them to the notice of the director.
(2) The registrar must give notice of the proposal
(a) to the director, and
(b) to every company of which the registrar has been notified that the individual is a director.
(3) The notice must
(a) state the grounds on which it is proposed to put the director's usual residential address on the public record, and
(b) specify a period within which representations may be made before that is done.
(4) It must be sent to the director at his usual residential address, unless it appears to the registrar that service at that address may be ineffective to bring it to the individual's notice, in which case it may be sent to any service address provided in place of that address.
(5) The registrar must take account of any representations received within the specified period.
(6) What is meant by putting the address on the public record is explained in section (Putting the address on the public record)."
After Clause 222, insert the following new clause
"PUTTING THE ADDRESS ON THE PUBLIC RECORD
(1) The registrar, on deciding in accordance with section (Circumstances in which registrar may put address on the public record) that a director's usual residential address is to be put on the public record, shall proceed as if notice of a change of registered particulars had been given
(a) stating that address as the director's service address, and
(b) stating that the director's usual residential address is the same as his service address.
(2) The registrar must give notice of having done so
(a) to the director, and
(b) to the company.
(3) On receipt of the notice the company must
(a) enter the director's usual residential address in its register of directors as his service address, and
(b) state in its register of directors' residential addresses that his usual residential address is the same as his service address.
(4) If the company has been notified by the director in question of a more recent address as his usual residential address, it must
(a) enter that address in its register of directors as the director's service address, and
(b) give notice to the registrar as on a change of registered particulars.
(5) If a company fails to comply with subsection (3) or (4), an offence is committed by
(a) the company, and
(b) every officer of the company who is in default.
(6) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (5) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale and, for continued contravention, a daily default fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 5 on the standard scale.
(7) A director whose usual residential address has been put on the public record by the registrar under this section may not register a service address other than his usual residential address for a period of five years from the date of the registrar's decision."
"DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED INFORMATION: OFFENCES
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if otherwise than in accordance with this Chapter he discloses any information which has been obtained by him in the exercise of his functions under this Chapter.
(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable
(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine or to both;
(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both."
The noble Lord said: My Lords, I realise that I may not have given sufficient emphasis to the need to increase the penalties for people who breach this law. I gave the example of the DVLA employee who was sentenced to only six months and had three months in prison. The amendment would require a person to be liable,
At the moment, as I understand it, there can be no more than a summary conviction for this breach, and the maximum penalty would be six months. I think that the kind of people we are dealing with deserve more than that. Some of them are happily now in prison for various offences, and I hope that the authorities will really try to stop this. One way to do that is to ensure that the penalties are sufficiently fierce. I beg to move.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: My Lords, in the case that the noble Lord mentioned, I do not think that the issue was the powers of the courts; it was the decision they took. I believe that my noble and learned friend the Attorney-General appealed that case. So it was not a question of what the powers were; it was the attitude
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taken by the courts. Perhaps the courts were not as aware then of the seriousness of some of these activities.
The noble Lord said: My Lords, I can be relatively brief, as this is the last amendment from the Opposition on Part 10. It relates to a point that the noble Lord, Lord Sharman, felt quite strongly about and which we debated in Grand Committee. The amendment seeks to ensure that adult children and step-children of a director are excluded from the definition "connected with" a director. It also relates to Clauses 173 and 178. We believe that times have moved on, and, in modern society, it is appropriate that adult children, who may well be pursuing different careers, should be allowed to live their own independent lives and not automatically be grouped with the director if they commit an offence under the Company Law Reform Act, as it will become. They are of course answerable, but should not necessarily be grouped with the director. We said that we would return to this issue, and I would be grateful if Ministers could respond. I beg to move.
Lord Sharman: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Freeman, is absolutely right that I felt strongly about this, because I have a son who is a fund manager. The prospect of my being able to control him, or even know what he does, is limited. We must be practical about these things. Any adult child is an adult: he is separate, distinct and, particularly, not co-habiting with the family. We must recognise that. I support the amendment.
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