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Social Security Fraud Act 2001

Clause 3: Code of practice about use of information powers

19.This clause provides for the issue and revision of a statutory code of practice relating to the exercise of powers which would be provided for by clause 1 and 2 of the Act.  That is powers to obtain information from independent sources of information such as banks and building societies.  It requires the Secretary of State to publish a draft of the code before issuing or revising it and to consider any representation made to him about the draft. It also enables him to incorporate any proposed modifications to the draft. The Secretary of State must lay the code and any revisions of it before both Houses of Parliament.  The code of practice will come into force when it is issued by the Secretary of State, as will any revised codes of practice.  The clause requires authorised officers to have regard to the code of practice when exercising powers that would be provided for by clauses 1 and 2 and would make the code admissible as evidence in any civil or criminal proceedings. Failure to comply with any of the provisions of the code would not of itself render the authorised officer liable to prosecution or to any penalty or damages in civil proceedings.

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