Disclosure Orders under the Criminal Finances Act 2017

A disclosure order authorises a law enforcement officer to require anyone they think has relevant information to an investigation to answer questions, provide information or to produce documents.

‘Relevant information’ is defined as information the officer considers to be relevant to the investigation (Section 357(5) of the Proceeds of Crime Act).

The application for a disclosure order must state that a person specified in it is subject to a confiscation, exploitation, or money laundering investigation, or that property specified in it is subject to a civil recovery, detained cash, or frozen funds investigation.

The disclosure order empowers the appropriate to make the requirement in the form of a written notice and may require a person to answer questions at a specified time and place, to provide information at a time and in a manner specified in the notice and/or to produce a document or documents of a specified description by a time and in a manner specified in the notice.

A disclosure order may remain in force throughout the life of an investigation.

An application can now also be made for a disclosure order in the context of a money laundering investigation, confiscation, civil recovery or exploitation proceeds investigation;

Statements made in response to an order may not – subject to certain exceptions – be used in criminal proceedings against the person who gave the information. A person subject to an order is not required to provide items or material subject to legal privilege or excluded material which, broadly speaking, comprises medical and other personal data held subject to a duty of confidentiality.