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Applications sought for Surveillance Commissioner 9 November 2006

The Department of Home Affairs is inviting applications from people interested in the new post of Surveillance Commissioner for the Isle of Man.

Home Affairs Minister John Shimmin explained:

‘This part-time position has come about following the progression of the Regulation of Surveillance Etc. Bill which will, subject to Royal Assent, come into force in December. It will provide a statutory framework for covert surveillance carried out by public authorities. I feel it will reassure the public that any covert surveillance by any authority will be scrutinised by an independent reviewer.’

The Surveillance Commissioner will be responsible for providing an effective and efficient oversight of the conduct of covert surveillance and covert human intelligence sources by public authorities, in accordance with the legislation. The types of covert surveillance that are carried out by public authorities will be separated into two categories (directed and intrusive) under the Regulation of Surveillance Etc Act 2006.

Directed surveillance is any activity undertaken for the purpose of a specific investigation or specific operation in such a manner that is likely to result in private information being obtained about a person. This does not include cases whereby the surveillance activity is an immediate response to events or circumstances and it is not reasonably practicable for an authorisation to be sought.

Intrusive surveillance involves the presence of an individual or device on residential premises or in a private vehicle placed for the purpose of carrying out surveillance. Residential premises include hotel bedrooms.

The Department expects the position of Surveillance Commissioner will suit someone with a legal background or relevant experience. The duties of the post holder will include:

  • scrutinising the authorisations as soon as practicable;
  • approving authorisations in those cases where his/her approval is required;
  • quashing an authorisation or cancelling an authorisation where necessary;
  • ordering the destruction of records;
  • keeping under review the exercise and performance, by the persons on whom they are conferred or imposed, of the powers and duties conferred or imposed under the Act.

The Surveillance Commissioner will be in post for a period of three years and will be eligible for re-appointment following that term.

For an information pack, please contact or call on 01624 694323. Advertisements for the position will be published in local newspapers this week.

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