Report of the Group Director of Operations.
The Cabinet Member with the Resources Portfolio introduced the report of the Group Director of Operations (previously circulated) updating Members on issues relevant to the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 and developments that have taken place since the last report to Cabinet in March 2021 (Minute C112/Mar/21 refers).
The submitted report stated that the RIPA 2000 enabled local authorities to carry out certain types of surveillance activity as long as specified procedures were followed; the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA) was the main legislation governing the acquisition of communications data; the information obtained could be relied upon in court proceedings providing RIPA and IPA was complied with; and that no RIPA directed surveillance applications or IPA communications data applications had been authorised since the last report to Cabinet.
Particular references were made in the submitted report to the updating of the RIPA Authorisation forms; the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021, which had received Royal Assent in March 2021; the recent newsletter from the Investigatory Powers Commissioner advising that the use of social media as a surveillance tool in the context of child protection matters, would not fall within the RIPA framework; and to the creation of an application form to cover surveillance that fell outside of RIPA.
RESOLVED – (a) That the developments that have taken place since March 2021, as detailed in the submitted report, be noted.
(b) That further reports on the use of RIPA, IPA and other associated issues, be submitted to future meetings of Cabinet.
REASONS – (a) In order to ensure that the Council complies with the legal obligations under RIPA, IPA and national guidance.
(b) To help in giving transparency about the use of RIPA and IPA in this Council.