PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation

DRAFT DATA PROTECTION (REGULATION OF FINANCIAL SERVICES ETC.)(SUBJECT ACCESS EXEMPTION) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 1997

Wednesday 12 March 1997

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1

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: SIR JAMES HILL

ASHTON, MR. JOSEPH (Bassetlaw)

Churchill, Mr. Winston (Davyhulme)

Cunningham, Mr. Jim (Coventry, South-East)

Fenner, Dame Peggy (Medway)

Gerrard, Mr. Neil (Walthamstow)

Hamilton, Sir Archibald (Epsom and Ewell)

Jones, Mr. Nigel (Cheltenham)

Kennedy, Mrs. Jane (Liverpool, Broadgreen)

Lidington, Mr. David (Aylesbury)

McLoughlin, Mr. Patrick (Lord Commissioner to the Treasury)

Mullin, Mr. Chris (Sunderland, South)

Patnick, Sir Irvine (Sheffield, Hallam)

Randall, Mr. Stuart (Kingston upon Hull, West)

Sackville, Mr. Tom (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department)

Tipping, Mr. Paddy (Sherwood)

Viggers, Mr. Peter (Gosport)

Mr. F. A. Cranmer, Committee Clerk.

2
3 Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation Wednesday 12 March 1997

[SIR JAMES HILL in the Chair]

Draft Data Protection (Regulation of Financial Services etc.) (Subject Access Exemption) (Amendment) Order 1997

4.30 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Tom Sackville): I beg to move, That the Committee has considered the draft Data Protection (Regulation of Financial Services etc.) (Subject Access Exemption) (Amendment) Order 1997. The Data Protection Act 1984 gives general directions about how data held on computer about individuals should be used. Section 21 gives people a general right of access to information held about them. However, section 30 confers a power that allows the Secretary of State to make an order exempting certain 4 bodies in the discharge of statutory functions. That power has been used in financial regulation, for example. The order proposes that the new Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority, which has control over the regulation of schemes managing at least £500 billion, should be given such a right to discharge its investigative functions. That is an important safeguard of people's rights, as it seeks to protect all those who are part of pension schemes. I commend the order to the Committee.

4.32 pm

Mrs. Jane Kennedy (Liverpool, Broadgreen): I am a veteran of the Standing Committee considering the Pensions Bill and I served on the Select Committee on Social Security when it conducted its inquiry into the Maxwell affair, so it gives me particular pleasure to welcome the order on behalf of Opposition Members. I commend the order to the Committee and wish it good speed.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Committee has considered the draft Data Protection (Regulation of Financial Services etc.) (Subject Access Exemption) (Amendment) Order 1997.

Committee rose at twenty-eight minutes to Five o'clock.

THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

Hill, Sir James (Chairman)

Hamilton, Sir Archibald

Kennedy, Mrs. Jane

Lidlington, Mr.

McLoughlin, Mr.

Patnick, Sir Irvine

Sackville, Mr.