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Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016

Commissioner investigations - restriction on disclosure of information

166.Section 37(1) provides that a person mentioned in subsection (2) must not disclose information which is (a) contained in a complaint, (b) provided to or obtained by the person in the course of, or for the purposes of, an assessment under section 22(2)(a) (assessment of admissibility of a complaint), or (c) provided to or obtained by the person in the course of, or for the purposes of, an investigation under section 22(2)(b)(i) (investigation of an admissible complaint).

167.Subsection (2) provides that the persons referred to in subsection (1) are the Commissioner, a member of the Commissioner’s staff, or any other person appointed by the Commissioner.

168.Subsection (3)(a) makes clear that subsection (1) does not prevent disclosure of information for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Commissioner to discharge the Commissioner’s functions:

(i)

conferred by or under the Act (including by a resolution of the Parliament under section 41 (power to make further provision about the Parliament’s procedures on receipt of a report from the Commissioner under Part 3 of the Act)),

(ii)

conferred by or under any other enactment, or

(iii)

in the standing orders of the Scottish Parliament.

169.Subsection (3)(b) makes clear that subsection (1) does not prevent disclosure of information for the purpose of the investigation or prosecution of any offence or suspected offence.

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