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(1)A person (“B”) commits an offence, subject as follows, if—
(a)B discloses protected information which has been disclosed by a public authority—
(i)as a result of the public authority being a member of a specified anti-fraud organisation; or
(ii)otherwise in accordance with any arrangements made by such an organisation;
(i)has been so disclosed by the public authority to B; or
(ii)has come into B's possession as a result (whether directly or indirectly) of such a disclosure by the public authority to another person; and
(c)B knows or suspects, or has reasonable grounds for suspecting, that the information is information of the kind mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(2)Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure made by B—
(a)where B is acting (whether as an employee or otherwise) on behalf of the person to whom the information was disclosed by the public authority concerned and the disclosure by B is to another person acting (whether as an employee or otherwise) on behalf of that person;
(b)for the purposes of the detection, investigation or prosecution of an offence in the United Kingdom;
(c)with the consent of the public authority concerned; or
(d)in pursuance of a Community obligation or a duty imposed by an enactment;
but it does apply to a disclosure made by B which does not fall within paragraphs (a) to (d) above but which (but for the offence) would have been permitted by a power conferred by an enactment.
(3)Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure made by B of information—
(a)which has been disclosed by a relevant public authority; and
(b)whose subject-matter is a matter about which provision would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament if it were included in an Act of that Parliament;
and subsection (6) of section 68 applies for the purposes of this subsection as it applies for the purposes of subsection (5) of that section.
(4)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that the person reasonably believed—
(a)that the disclosure was lawful; or
(b)that the information had already and lawfully been made available to the public.
(5)In this section “protected information” means—
(a)any revenue and customs information disclosed by Revenue and Customs and revealing the identity of the person to whom it relates; or
(b)any specified information disclosed by a specified public authority.
(6)For the purposes of this section—
(a)“revenue and customs information” means information about, acquired as a result of or held in connection with the exercise of a function of the Commissioners of Revenue and Customs or an officer of Revenue and Customs in respect of a person;
(b)revenue and customs information reveals a person's identity if—
(i)it specifies his identity; or
(ii)his identity can be deduced from it; and
(c)revenue and customs information relates to a person if he is the person in respect of whom the function mentioned in paragraph (a) is exercised.
(7)In this section—
“Commissioners of Revenue and Customs” means Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs;
“enactment” has the same meaning as in section 14;
“” has the same meaning as in section 68;
“Revenue and Customs” means—
the Commissioners of Revenue and Customs;
an officer of Revenue and Customs; or
a person acting on behalf of the Commissioners or an officer of Revenue and Customs;
“specified anti-fraud organisation” means any person which is a specified anti-fraud organisation for the purposes of section 68;
“specified information” means information specified or described in an order made by the Secretary of State; and
“” means a public authority specified or described in an order made by the Secretary of State.
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