Which Scottish public bodies should be allowed further information sharing powers to tackle debt owed to, or fraud against, the public sector is the subject of a new Scottish Government consultation.

Ministers wish to designate the authorities with devolved functions that are entitled to use the powers in the Digital Economy Act 2017, part 5. The UK and Welsh Governments have already added UK, English and Welsh bodies to the schedules to the Act which set out the entitled bodies – schedule 7 for the debt powers and schedule 8 for the fraud powers.

Bodies proposed to be designated include the Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service and the Scottish Legal Aid Board, as well as all Scottish local authorities.

A listed public authority can only share data under these powers with other persons who are also listed in the relevant schedule. Bodies that provide services to a public authority can be included in the schedules.

The Act does not exempt public authorities from duties under existing data protection law. Data sharing under the Act is additional to any existing data sharing that can take place under existing legislation applying to public authorities.

Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 13 April 2020.