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Defence Reform Act 2014

Section 27: Records and reports: restrictions

99.This section allows the SSCRs to disapply a requirement to provide access to records (section 23(5)) or information in standard reports (sections 24 and 25), or to report relevant events, circumstances and information (section 26) when such information is subject to an obligation of confidentiality. The obligation of confidentiality must be with another person outside of the same corporate group, who has not given consent for the release of the information. This restriction only applies to the provision of the information subject to an obligation of confidence. The requirement to provide, for example, a report that is due under section 24 or 25, would remain, although the specific information subject to an obligation of confidence would not be included within the report.

100.This provision could make it possible for broad obligations of confidentiality to unreasonably prevent compliance with the recording and reporting requirements. Subsection (3)(a) therefore enables the Secretary of State or an authorised person to refer an obligation of confidentiality to the SSRO and subsection (3)(b) provides the SSRO a power to investigate and override a restriction under subsection (1) if it has not been entered into for genuine commercial reasons. Subsection (4) further provides that where the obligation of confidentiality has been entered into wholly or partly to avoid providing information under sections 23(5), 24, 25, or 26, this is not to be considered a genuine commercial reason.

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