Venue: Regeneration Meeting Room, County Hall, Carmarthen, SA31 1JP.. View directions
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of personal interest.
The Executive Board Member considered a report which provided an overview of the use of covert surveillance activity undertaken by the Authority in 2017/18 along with the written procedures for the conduct of covert surveillance by staff and for the use of such surveillance.
The report included information in relation to the following:
Covert human Intelligence Sources
Interception of Communications Data
The Executive Board Member noted that no authorisations had been issued under this Act for the conduct of directed surveillance, covert human intelligence sources and interception of communications data during the period 1st April 2017 to 31st December 2018.
The Legal Services Manager stated that he was pleased to report that 68 Council staff attended an arranged training session which took place on 5th December 2018. Furthermore, delegates included not only representatives of the main regulatory enforcement teams, but also other services including;
In addition, training notes would be circulated to all relevant staff.
Reference was made to the Covert Surveillance Council procedures, section 5 – Authorisation Process. The Legal Services Manager highlighted that as stated within the procedures, should an application be granted, the authorising officer must specify the following:
The scope of the authorisation
The duration of the authorisation
The date (not more than 28 days) for review of the authorisation.
Appendix 1 of the abovementioned procedure provided a list of authorising officers under the regulation of Investigating Powers Act.
A discussion ensued with regard to the use of personal social media accounts for Council purposes. The Legal Services Manager explained that the Council’s ‘Use of Social Media Policy’ was available for staff to view on the intranet which included a section on the Monitoring of Social Media which quoted: “If a social media account is to be used to view or monitor another account, care must be taken to avoid inadvertently conducting covert online surveillance which is covered by the Council’s Covert Surveillance Policy. Advice should be sought from Legal Services”.
However, in addition to the Council’s ‘Use of Social Media Policy, it was the Executive Board Member’s view that it would be prudent to further highlight to staff the dangers of using their own personal social media accounts for this purpose. The Legal Services Manager agreed to discuss this further with Human Resources and report to the Executive Board Member accordingly.
2.1 the covert surveillance activity undertaken by the authority in 2017/2018 be noted;
2.2 the amendments to the corporate procedure on the conduct of such surveillance be approved for 2019.
RESOLVED that the decision record of the meeting held on 12th April, 2018 be signed as a correct record.