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Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

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29 Authorisation of covert human intelligence sources.E+W+S+N.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this Part, the persons designated for the purposes of this section shall each have power to grant authorisations for the conduct or the use of a covert human intelligence source.

(2)A person shall not grant an authorisation for the conduct or the use of a covert human intelligence source unless he believes—

(a)that the authorisation is necessary on grounds falling within subsection (3);

(b)that the authorised conduct or use is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by that conduct or use; and

[F1(c)that arrangements exist for the source's case that satisfy—

(i)the requirements of subsection (4A), in the case of a source of a relevant collaborative unit;

(ii)the requirements of subsection (4B), in the case of a source of a relevant Scottish collaborative unit;

(iii)the requirements of subsection (5), in the case of any other source;

and that satisfy such other requirements as may be imposed by order made by the Secretary of State.]

[F2(2A)For the purposes of subsection (2)—

(a)a relevant collaborative unit is a unit consisting of two or more police forces whose chief officers of police have made an agreement under section 23(1) of the Police Act 1996 which relates to the discharge by persons holding offices, ranks or positions with any of the forces of functions in connection with the conduct or use of the source; and

(b)a relevant Scottish collaborative unit is a unit consisting of two or more Scottish police forces whose chief constables have made an agreement under section 12(1) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 which relates to the discharge by persons holding offices, ranks or positions with any of the forces of functions in connection with the conduct or use of the source.]

(3)An authorisation is necessary on grounds falling within this subsection if it is necessary—

(a)in the interests of national security;

(b)for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder;

(c)in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom;

(d)in the interests of public safety;

(e)for the purpose of protecting public health;

(f)for the purpose of assessing or collecting any tax, duty, levy or other imposition, contribution or charge payable to a government department; or

(g)for any purpose (not falling within paragraphs (a) to (f)) which is specified for the purposes of this subsection by an order made by the Secretary of State.

(4)The conduct that is authorised by an authorisation for the conduct or the use of a covert human intelligence source is any conduct that—

(a)is comprised in any such activities involving conduct of a covert human intelligence source, or the use of a covert human intelligence source, as are specified or described in the authorisation;

(b)consists in conduct by or in relation to the person who is so specified or described as the person to whose actions as a covert human intelligence source the authorisation relates; and

(c)is carried out for the purposes of, or in connection with, the investigation or operation so specified or described.

[F3(4A)For the purposes of this Part there are arrangements for the source's case that satisfy the requirements of this subsection if such arrangements are in force as are necessary for ensuring—

(a)that there will at all times be a qualifying person who will have day-to-day responsibility for dealing with the source, and for the source's security and welfare;

(b)that there will at all times be another qualifying person who will have general oversight of the use made of the source;

(c)that there will at all times be a qualifying person who will have responsibility for maintaining a record of the use made of the source;

(d)that the records relating to the source that are maintained by virtue of paragraph (c) will always contain particulars of all such matters (if any) as may be specified for the purposes of this paragraph in regulations made by the Secretary of State; and

(e)that records maintained by virtue of paragraph (c) that disclose the identity of the source will not be available to persons except to the extent that there is a need for access to them to be made available to those persons.

(4B)For the purposes of this Part there are arrangements for the source's case that satisfy the requirements of this subsection if such arrangements are in force as are necessary for ensuring—

(a)that there will at all times be a Scottish qualifying person who will have day-to-day responsibility for dealing with the source, and for the source's security and welfare;

(b)that there will at all times be another Scottish qualifying person who will have general oversight of the use made of the source;

(c)that there will at all times be a Scottish qualifying person who will have responsibility for maintaining a record of the use made of the source;

(d)that the records relating to the source that are maintained by virtue of paragraph (c) will always contain particulars of all such matters (if any) as may be specified for the purposes of this paragraph in regulations made by the Secretary of State; and

(e)that records maintained by virtue of paragraph (c) that disclose the identity of the source will not be available to persons except to the extent that there is a need for access to them to be made available to those persons.]

(5)For the purposes of this Part there are arrangements for the source’s case that satisfy the requirements of this subsection if such arrangements are in force as are necessary for ensuring—

(a)that there will at all times be a person holding an office, rank or position with the relevant investigating authority who will have day-to-day responsibility for dealing with the source on behalf of that authority, and for the source’s security and welfare;

(b)that there will at all times be another person holding an office, rank or position with the relevant investigating authority who will have general oversight of the use made of the source;

(c)that there will at all times be a person holding an office, rank or position with the relevant investigating authority who will have responsibility for maintaining a record of the use made of the source;

(d)that the records relating to the source that are maintained by the relevant investigating authority will always contain particulars of all such matters (if any) as may be specified for the purposes of this paragraph in regulations made by the Secretary of State; and

(e)that records maintained by the relevant investigating authority that disclose the identity of the source will not be available to persons except to the extent that there is a need for access to them to be made available to those persons.

(6)The Secretary of State shall not make an order under subsection (3)(g) unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.

(7)The Secretary of State may by order—

(a)prohibit the authorisation under this section of any such conduct or uses of covert human intelligence sources as may be described in the order; and

(b)impose requirements, in addition to those provided for by subsection (2), that must be satisfied before an authorisation is granted under this section for any such conduct or uses of covert human intelligence sources as may be so described.

[F4(7A)For the purposes of subsection (4A) a person is a qualifying person if—

(a)the person holds an office, rank or position with a police force whose chief officer of police is a party to the agreement mentioned in subsection (2A)(a); and

(b)persons holding offices, ranks or positions with that force are permitted by the terms of the agreement to have the responsibility mentioned in paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection (4A) or the general oversight mentioned in paragraph (b) of that subsection (as the case may require).

(7B)For the purposes of subsection (4B), a person is a Scottish qualifying person if—

(a)the person holds an office, rank or position with a Scottish police force whose chief constable is a party to the agreement mentioned in subsection (2A)(b); and

(b)persons holding offices, ranks or positions with that force are permitted by the terms of the agreement to have the responsibility mentioned in paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection (4B) or the general oversight mentioned in paragraph (b) of that subsection (as the case may require).]

(8)In this section “relevant investigating authority”, in relation to an authorisation for the conduct or the use of an individual as a covert human intelligence source, means (subject to subsection (9)) the public authority for whose benefit the activities of that individual as such a source are to take place.

(9)In the case of any authorisation for the conduct or the use of a covert human intelligence source whose activities are to be for the benefit of more than one public authority, the references in subsection (5) to the relevant investigating authority are references to one of them (whether or not the same one in the case of each reference).

[F5(10)For the purposes of this section—

(a)references to a police force are to the following—

(i)any police force maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996 (police forces in England and Wales outside London);

(ii)the metropolitan police force; and

(iii)the City of London police force; and

(b)references to a Scottish police force are to a police force maintained under or by virtue of section 1 of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967.]

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C1S. 29(2)(c) modified (6.11.2000) by S.I. 2000/2793, art. 4

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