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Enterprise Act 2002

Section 238: Information

597.This section defines the information to which the disclosure provisions will apply.

598.Subsection (1) defines ‘specified information’ as information that has been obtained by a ‘public authority’ (as defined in subsection (3)) in connection with the exercise by it of any function that it has under the following Parts of this Act - Part 1 ('The Office of Fair Trading'), Part 3 (‘Mergers’), Part 4 (‘Market Investigations’), Part 6 (‘Cartel Offence’), Part 7 (‘Miscellaneous Competition Provisions’) and Part 8 (‘Enforcement of Certain Consumer Legislation’), under any of the enactments listed in Schedule 14 of this Act; or under any secondary legislation specified by the Secretary of State in an order. Subsection (4) provides that the term “enactment” will be taken to refer to both primary and secondary legislation, including Scottish and Northern Ireland legislation.

599.Subsection (2) has the effect of applying the new disclosure provisions to all “specified information” held by public authorities after the passing of this Act, as well as to information already held by a public authority at the time the Act was passed.

600.Subsection (3) requires the term ‘public authority’ to be construed in accordance with the terms of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 – that is to include courts and tribunals (including the House of Lords in its judicial capacity), as well as any person exercising functions of a public nature, but excluding Parliament. (An ‘overseas public authority’ is separately defined in section 243 of this Act).

601.Subsection (5) and (6) empower the Secretary of State to amend the lists of legislation in Schedule 14, under which statutory functions arise. This will allow the lists to be updated to reflect subsequent changes to the legislative base. Subsection (7) provides that statutory instruments made under subsection (4) will be subject to the negative Parliamentary procedure.

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