Decision details

Review of Guildford Borough Council's Covert Investigative Powers Policy and alignment with the Policy of Waverley Borough Council

Decision Maker: Executive, Lead Councillor for Environment and Climate Change

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes



That the draft Covert Investigative Powers Policy, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted to the Executive be adopted, subject to the same policy being adopted by Waverley Borough Council.


1.     To align the policies of Guildford and Waverley and to improve consistency in reporting, monitoring and approval of covert surveillance and acquisition of communications data.

2.     To ensure the integrity of the processes in place for the use of directed surveillance, covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) and acquiring communications data.

3.     To maintain compliance with the Legislation and Codes of Practice that govern Investigatory powers and Human Rights

4.     To ensure collaborative engagement with the IPCO and their inspectors

5.     To ensure staff are fully trained and aware of their powers, duties and the authorisation process.

Other options considered and rejected by the Executive:

1.     To adopt the new aligned policy with such amendments as the Executive saw fit. However, the Executive was mindful that any such amendments might not be adopted by Waverley Borough Council which would negate the benefits of having an aligned and identical policy.

2.     To not adopt the new policy and retain a separate and different policy framework for each council. Along with not aligning to two authorities, there was also a risk that the policies would not be compliant with the current guidance.

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:


Report author: Kate Gillman

Publication date: 24/08/2023

Date of decision: 24/08/2023

Decided at meeting: 24/08/2023 - Executive

Effective from: 01/09/2023

Accompanying Documents: