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) informing and updating Members on issues relevant to the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000; developments that have taken place since the last report to Cabinet in March 2022 (Minute C115/Mar/22 refers); and requesting that consideration be given to the Regulation of Investigatory Policy (also previously circulated).
The submitted report stated that the RIPA Act 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.
It was reported that Paragraph 4.47 of the Home Office, Covert Surveillance and Property Interference, Revised Code of Practice, August 2018, required each local authority to set the RIPA Policy at least once a year and that a number of minor amendments had been made to the policy since it was last approved in March 2021 (Minute C112/Mar/21 refers).
RESOLVED – (a) That the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Policy, as appended to the submitted report, be approved..
(b) That further reports on the use of Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIPA) and Investigatory Powers (IPA) and associated issues, be submitted to future meetings of Cabinet.
REASONS – (a) As stated in the Home Office Code of Practice, the RIPA should be approved by Members on an annual basis.
(b) In order to ensure that the Council complies with the legal obligations under RIPA, IPA and national guidance.
(c) To help in giving transparency about the use of RIPA and IPA in the Council.