§ 120 Clause 79, page 73, line 28, leave out subsections (3) to (5).
§ Lord Trefgarne
My Lords, these amendments and new clauses have the purpose of broadening the categories of organisation which will commit an offence—
§ Lord Williams of Elvel
My Lords, is the noble Lord speaking to Amendments Nos. 120, 126, 127 and 128?
§ Lord Trefgarne
My Lords, the answer is, yes. I apologise for not making that clear. I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 120 and will speak also to Amendments Nos. 126, 127 and 128.
These amendments and new clauses have the purpose of broadening the categories of organisation which will commit an offence if they fail to comply with requirements to give information imposed on them under Clause 77, or if they wrongfully disclose information safeguarded under Clause 80.
Non-compliance offences under Clause 79 may be committed at present by any person, which includes either individuals or "bodies corporate". Subsection (3) deals specifically with offences by bodies corporate; its provisions are also applied by Clause 80(b) to wrongful disclosure offences under that clause. The aim is to replace the subsections with Amendment No. 127 (a new clause), which provides for cases in which partnerships and unincorporated associations, as well as bodies corporate, are proceeded against in respect of such offences. This new clause also ensures that personal liability in 649 the event of offences being committed by these organisations is defined in the same way for each one, thus maintaining consistency.
There are additional, consequential changes. Clause 79(4) defines restrictions on proceedings in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland in the event of a non-compliance offence by a body corporate. This is replaced and expanded by Amendment No. 126, which covers restrictions on proceedings for offences under Clauses 79 and 80 by bodies corporate, partnerships, and unincorporated associations. Likewise, Clause 79(5) defines the place and time at which summary proceedings for non-compliance may be brought against a body corporate. Amendment No. 128 replaces and expands these provisions to cover unincorporated associations and, where appropriate, proceedings under Clause 80 (there is no mention of Clause 80 in subsection (1) of this new clause, because the offences in question are triable either way.)
Amendment No. 120 (which operates together with Amendment No. 121) is introduced purely to delete subsections (3) to (5) of Clause 79, and subsection (6) of Clause 80, to make way for the new, expanded clauses. I beg to move.
§ Moved, that the House do agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—(Lord Trelgarne.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.