On 9 September the Government wrote to ACPO inviting it to outline any matters that it thought the Secretary of State should take into consideration before deciding whether it is appropriate to include it in a Section 5 order and asking for its views on the length of time that ACPO would need between making an order and its commencement. It is clearly important that any new body being brought within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act is given sufficient time to prepare, and that includes establishing a publication scheme and training staff so that they are adequately resourced to deal with requests. It is quite something to get all that in place, as I know from being in the Home Office.Read the Hansard here.
The Government propose bringing forward the Section 5 order early in the 2009-10 Session and it is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act that the order be debated in both Houses. As the noble Lord, Lord Skelmersdale, said, ACPO is a private company limited by guarantee and is not established by statute. It is, however, referred to in statute. Both ACPO and the APA are referred to in the Police Act 1996, for example, where Section 37A places a duty on the Secretary of State to consult both ACPO and the APA on strategic priorities. I hope that that clarifies the issue.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Extension of FOI Act to ACPO
In a debate on the Policing and Crime Bill, Home Office minister Lord West of Spithead, confirmed that a Section 5 Order extending the FOI Act to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) would be introduced early in the 2009-10 parliamentary session: