Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 14th February 2019
Title of Item/Report
IPCO (Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office) Inspection
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that provided details of the inspection arrangements and outcome of the recent programmed inspection of the use of covert surveillance in accordance with the provisions of the RIPA Act 2000.

The IPCO inspection was positive and found that the Council demonstrated a level of compliance that negated the need for a further onsite inspection. The outcome report was attached to the report.

The Self - Assessment and evidence was submitted electronically to an Inspector in September 2018. After a thorough examination the Inspector concluded that the authority had demonstrated a level of compliance that removed the need for a full onsite inspection.

The inspection outcome was positive and noted the following:

• There had been a thorough implementation of actions from the 2015 inspection and as such the 2015 recommendations were confirmed as discharged.
• Plans were in place to increase awareness and maintain regular training
• The Council had a well written policy and good governance in place

The Inspector stressed the importance of regular ongoing oversight by the Senior Responsible Officer and the maintenance of training. He noted the Council's potential increased use of Social Media in investigations and the need therefore for controlled, audited close scrutiny of such processes. The inspector also supported the proposed revision of the Council's Policy in line with recent legislative changes and a continuation of governance arrangements and good practice. These matters would all be acted upon and monitored at Corporate Governance Group.

These recommendations would be implemented and monitored through the RIPA Steering Group and Corporate Governance group. Members would continue to receive an annual report on RIPA arrangements and authorisations.

A copy of the letter from the IPCO was attached to the report.

RESOLVED that the report and positive outcome of the IPCO inspection be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
To update Members on the positive outcome of the IPCO inspection.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 23 February 2019

Date of Publication: 19 February 2019

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