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Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation Act 1995

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13(1)For the purposes of the law of defamation the following shall be absolutely privileged:—

(a)the publication of any matter in communications between a Governor or officer of the Heritage Foundation and the Letchworth Commissioner for the purposes of this Act;

(b)the publication of any matter by the Letchworth Commissioner in communicating with a complainant for the purposes of this Act;

(c)the publication of any matter in preparing, making and sending a report or statement in accordance with paragraph 9 or paragraph 10 above, or, subject to paragraph 9 (7) above, in making a report available to the public or in supplying a copy under paragraph 9 (4) above;

(d)the publication of any matter by inclusion in a statement published in accordance with sub-paragraphs (5) to (8) of paragraph 10 above.

(2)Information obtained by the Letchworth Commissioner in the course of or for the purposes of an investigation under this Act shall not be disclosed except—

(a)for the purposes of the investigation and of any report to be made under paragraph 9 or paragraph 10 above;

(b)for the purposes of any proceedings for an offence under the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989 alleged to have been committed in respect of information obtained, under this Act, by the Letchworth Commissioner or for an offence of perjury alleged to have been committed in the course of an investigation under this Act or for the purposes of an inquiry with a view to the taking of such proceedings; or

(c)for the purpose of any proceedings under paragraph 8 (9) above;

and the Letchworth Commissioner shall not be called upon to give evidence in any proceedings (other than proceedings within sub-paragraph (b) or (c) above) of matters coming to his knowledge in the course of an investigation under this Act.

(3)A Minister of the Crown may give notice in writing to the Letchworth Commissioner with respect to any document or information specified in the notice, or any class of documents or information so specified, that in the opinion of the Minister the disclosure of that document or information, or of documents or information of that class, would be contrary to the public interest; and where such a notice is given nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorising or requiring the Letchworth Commissioner to communicate to any other person, or for any purpose, any document or information specified in the notice, or any document or information of a class so specified.

(4)Nothing in sub-paragraph (3) above shall affect the obligations imposed by paragraph 8 (4) and (5) above.

(5)Where information is disclosed in accordance with paragraph 8 (3) above, being information which is derived from a communication from a government department, and which has not been made public, the Letchworth Commissioner shall not without the written consent of an officer of the government department make a report which includes all or any of that information unless he has given the department not less than one month’s notice in writing of his intention.

(6)The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to the Commissioners of Customs and Excise and Commissioners of Inland Revenue as they apply to a Minister of the Crown.

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