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The Consultation Process paras 17 to 20

The Consultation Process

17. This consultation process is being conducted in line with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on consultation, and will last twelve weeks. Comments are invited by 30th August 2006 it may not be possible to take account of response received after that date as the Government will want to finalise the code for the approval of Parliament as soon as possible.

18. It is intended to publish a summary of responses to this consultation on the Home Office web site and information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004).

19. The information you send us may be passed to colleagues within the Home Office, the Government or related agencies. Please ensure that your response is marked clearly if you wish your response and name to be kept confidential. If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the Department.

20. Confidential responses will be included in any statistical summary of numbers of comments received and views expressed.

Comments

17. This consultation process is being conducted in line with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on consultation, and will last twelve weeks

No it is not !

One of the major areas of consultation is about using Communications Traffic Data to identify dead or incapacitated people i.e. Additional consultation questions 8 and 9

Why then, has the Home Office pre-empted this Public Consultation by issuing and having Parliament rubber-stamp:

Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 1878 - The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) (Additional Functions and Amendment) Order 2006 ?

"Made 12th July 2006

Coming into force 26th July 2006"

Additional purposes of section 22(2) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 2. The following additional purposes are specified for the purposes of section 22(2) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (to the extent that they do not fall within paragraphs (a) to (g) of that provision)—

(a) to assist investigations into alleged miscarriages of justice;

(b) for the purpose of—

(i) assisting in identifying any person who has died otherwise than as a result of crime or who is unable to identify himself because of a physical or mental condition, other than one resulting from crime, or

(ii) obtaining information about the next of kin or other connected persons of such a person or about the reason for his death or condition.

Surely the Home Office is in breach of the Cabinet Office Code of Practice and Guidelines on Public Consultations ?

How can respondents to this or any other Home Office Public Consultation trust that their views will actually be taken into consideration before Secondary Legislation is rubber stamped through Parliament ?

It makes a complete mockery of the alleged "Public Consultation" process.

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