Investigatory Powers Bill

Key briefing and summary points for local government on the Investigatory Powers Bill.


House of Lords, Second Reading, Monday 27 June 2016

Key messages

  • The Local Government Association supports the Investigatory Powers Bill which seeks to retain council's access to communications data as defined in Clauses 58 and 69. We also support Clause 233 which introduces the new definitions of communications data with entities and events data replacing subscriber, service use and traffic data.
  • Although they are not the main users of communications data, teams within councils, such as trading standards, use communications data to tackle a range of criminal activity and fraud. It is vital that the powers to access communications data identified in Clauses 58 and 69 keep pace with the technology through which an increasing amount of criminal activity is perpetrated, and continue to be retained by councils.  If councils do not have access to communications data, it should not be assumed that police forces would have the capacity to take this work on from trading standards teams.

Investigatory Powers Bill, House of Commons Committee Stage, Thursday 14 April 2016

Key messages

  • Although they are not the main users of communications data, teams within councils, such as trading standards, use communications data to tackle a range of criminal activity and fraud. It is vital that the powers to access communications data set out in Clauses 53 and 64 keep pace with the technology through which an increasing amount of criminal activity is perpetrated, and that councils continue to retain these powers.

Investigatory Powers Bill, House of Commons, Second Reading,15 March 2016

Key messages

Councils will remain subject to more stringent oversight than any other body accessing communications data due to the requirement for them to seek judicial authorisation before accessing communications data. The LGA supports the safeguards identified in Clause 66 as an important means of ensuring public confidence. We are calling for the process of judicial authorisation to be more efficient so that it does not hinder appropriate use of communications data by councils.