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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 09/07/2002
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: Additional Officer Authorisations



The report proposes delegating the power to authorise direct and covert surveillance activity to appropriate officers additional to those approved at the last meeting.
APPENDIX T

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE - 9TH JULY 2002

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Title:
REGULATION OF INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2000:
Additional officer authorisations

[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and Purpose

The report proposes delegating the power to authorise direct and covert surveillance activity to appropriate officers additional to those approved at the last meeting.
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Background

1. The report to the Executive on 11th June outlined the initial measures necessary for the Council to take in order to comply with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). To ensure that the Council complies with the requirements of the Act it is important to ensure that there is a framework within which, in accordance with the law, decisions to conduct directed or covert surveillance can be fully considered, authorised, recorded and monitored.

2. The use of directed and covert surveillance is particularly appropriate in respect of work by environmental health officers to prevent environmental nuisance by noise, fumes and smells, etc. Where investigations are carried out for and on behalf of the Council, the officers conducting the investigations must be duly authorised to use directed surveillance, or any covert human intelligence source. The use of such techniques is lawful if an authorisation is obtained and the conduct is in accordance with such authorisation. In this way, both the Council and the officers are protected from liability for unauthorised surveillance as an interference with human rights. Except in cases of urgency, authorisations should be in writing. For directed surveillance, the authorisation will be effective for 3 months, and for a covert human intelligence source, for 12 months (unless the source is under 18).

3. Authorisation can only be granted by Deputy Chief Officers or persons in a more senior position, or by a person responsible for the management of an investigation.

4. The officers identified as being appropriate to authorise surveillance in the Executive report of 11th June 2002 excluded the Environmental Health Manager (Commercial) and the Environmental Health Manager (Residential). These two officers regularly supervise the conduct of investigations by officers in their teams. In those circumstances, they should be able to authorise the use of directed or covert surveillance.

5. Where, as sometimes happens, the two Environmental Health Managers are conducting investigations in their own right, it will be necessary, to ensure the appropriate monitoring remains available, for the Environment Manager to authorise that surveillance.


Recommendation

It is recommended that the Environmental Health Manager (Commercial) and the Environmental Health Manager (Residential) each be designated as an officer who may authorise directed surveillance and the use of covert human intelligence sources where he or she is supervising the officers conducting the investigation.
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Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mrs S Whitmarsh Telephone: 01483 523176


comms/executive/2002-03/092 28972