The Electronic Communications Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 enables the Department to authorise the use of electronic communications for any purpose where it considers that the authorisation is such that the extent (if any) to which records of things done for that purpose will be no less satisfactory in cases where use is made of electronic communications or electronic storage than in other cases.
The Act provides that the appropriate department may by order modify—
(a) any statutory provision; or
(b) any provision of a scheme, licence, authorisation or approval issued, granted or given by or under any statutory provision,
A legislative Direction is required upon the introduction of an Order made under the Act to give effect to the provisions of the Order therein.
The Department for Communities makes proposed Directions in accordance with regulation 32ZA of and paragraph 2 of Schedule 8D to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987.