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Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act 2020


Section 16: Power to gather information

29.Section 16 provides the Commissioner with the power to require the production of information from Police Scotland, the SPA and the PIRC (or from any other person who the Commissioner’s functions are subsequently expanded to cover) in order to determine whether the bodies subject to the code of practice are complying with it, or for the purpose of exercising any of the Commissioner’s other functions. When seeking information, the Commissioner is to specify the following: what information is to be supplied; the form the information is to be provided in; the date by which information is due; the place where a person is to supply any information which is to be supplied by personal statement; and the matters to which the information relates. Under subsection (3) a person is exempt from providing information to the Commissioner where, for example, that information would be covered by legal privilege or incriminate that person in a crime. Subsection (4) allows the Commissioner to change their mind and cancel (by notice in writing) an information request. Subsection (5) makes clear that unrecorded information, such as an oral statement, is information for the purposes of section 16. This means that information must be provided even if there is no written record of it.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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