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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19012: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 25 September 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5T-00012 by Michael Matheson on 14 June 2016 (Official Report, c. 10), on what date the police (a) began and (b) ceased operations through the Scottish Recording Centre (SRC), which used surveillance data acquired through the Milkwhite scheme; what advice it sought regarding the legality of holding and processing this data; what aspects of the SRC’s work were subject to ministerial approval, and, in light of the recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, whether it will provide an update on the operation of the SRC across Scotland and its involvement with Milkwhite.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 23 October 2018

All matters pertaining to the interception of communications are independently overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office (IPCO). From September 2017, the Police Service of Scotland has been subject to oversight and inspection by the IPCO; prior to this, the role was carried out by the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office.

The role of the Scottish Ministers is provided in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. Prior to this, Scottish Ministers’ role was provided in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and The Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) (No. 2) Order 2000.

The management of police units and related information sharing agreements are an operational matter for the Police Service of Scotland.