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Deja vu - Gordon Brown fails to publish the RIPA Commissioner annual reports - just like Tony Blair

Prime Minister Gordon Brown uttered these Orwellian Labour newspeak weasel words in his speech "on Liberty" at the University of Westminster, on 24th October 2007:

Because liberty cannot flourish in the darkness, our rights and freedoms are protected by the daylight of public scrutiny as much as by the decisions of Parliament or independent judges.

So it is clear that to protect individual liberty we should have the freest possible flow of information between government and the people.

If the leopard really has changed its spots compared with Tony Blair's regime, then surely the Prime Minister should have published two annual reports, which are mandated by Act of Parliament, to be "laid before Parliament" "As soon as practicable after the end of each calendar year"

Parliament is now in recess until 7th January 2008.

Where is the Annual report of the Rt. Hon. Sir Paul Kennedy, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, for 2006 ?

Where is the Annual report of the Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Gibson, the Intelligence Services Commissioner, for 2006 ?

The previous Annual Reports were mostly submitted to the Prime Minister by July of the the year to which they refer and published by October or November (a scandalously long delay), except for Tony Blair's spin / incompetence last year,.

See last year's debacle, where these Reports for 2005 were not published until February 7th 2007, and then only after several Opposition Written Questions e.g. More RIPA Commissioners Annual Report suppression:

See Where are the missing RIPA Commissioners' annual reports for 2005 ? which quotes the relevant sections of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

What is so difficult about publishing an Annual Report (which is already censored of any sensitive details) , which has been legally mandated by Act of Parliament, every year ?

See the previously published Reports of the Commissioners page at intelligence.gov.uk

The following reports have been published by the Interception of Communications Commissioner:

The Intelligence Services Commissioner has published the following reports:

How is suppressing and delaying the publication of the limited, censored, Annual Reports of these two supposedly independent RIPA Commissioners, compatible with the words uttered by Gordon Brown in his ön Liberty" speech, unless that speech was just cynical Orwellian doublethink or just a pack of politician's lies ?

January 2008 should really be seeing the publication of Annual Reports relating to the year 2007, not a delayed report relating to the year 2006


Your ISC 05/06 link is broken, it's here: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc0607/hc03/0314/0314.pdf

I haven't read them yet, but I would assume the 05/06 docs covered both years, leaving us with just the new '07 docs to come. Am I wrong?

@ Phil - thanks for pointing out the broken link(s) (hopefully they are now corrected).

I would assume the 05/06 docs covered both years

Unfortunately that is not quite so. Only the first 3 months of 2006 are covered.

The then Intelligence Services Commissioner Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood wrote:

12th December 2006

I enclose my sixth, and final, Annual Report on the discharge of my functions under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The Report covers my last fifteen months in office from 1 January 2005 to 31 March 2006.

So 9 months of 2006 (April to December) and all 12 months of 2007, and now part of January 2008 i.e. 21 months and counting, have not been Reported on to Parliament, as laid down by law in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which mandates an "Annual report" to be laid before Parliament, "As soon as practicable after the end of each calendar year"

The same applies to the Interception of Communications Commissioner's missing report, but, yet again, not to the Chief Surveillance Commissioner, who yet again managed to publish his report for the previous year 2006 last July 2007.

So much for public or even Parliamentary transparency as promised by Gordon Brown.

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