House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Regulatory Reform Bill [Hl] - continued          House of Commons

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Clause 10:Making of codes of practice by designated Minister

110. Clause 10 sets out an established procedure for making or revising codes of practice. Similar procedures appear in section 9B of the Fire Precautions Act 1971, section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and section 85 of the School Standards and Frameworks Act 1998. A feature of the procedure is that the provisions of the relevant code of practice do not themselves become provisions of an order or statutory instrument, but the code is brought into force by a statutory instrument as set out in subsection (5).

111. Subsections (1) and (2) require that a draft code be produced and that various parties with an interest are consulted. This includes the National Assembly for Wales where the draft relates to Wales.

112. Subsections (3) to (8) provide for Parliamentary scrutiny of any proposed code. Subsection (4) makes provision for Parliament to veto any proposed code if it sees fit to do so, but as subsection (6) makes clear, this is without prejudice to the Minister's ability to take up any proposed code and replace it with an amended draft for further Parliamentary scrutiny.

Clause 11: Making of codes of practice by National Assembly for Wales

113. Clause 11 is the Welsh counterpart of clause 10. It requires the National Assembly for Wales to consult on any draft code before bringing the code into force under the Assembly's own statutory instrument. The procedure appropriate for laying an order giving effect to a code of practice proposed by the National Assembly is a matter for the Assembly to determine.

Clause 12: Repeals and savings

114. Subsection (1) repeals sections 1-5 of, and Schedule 1 to, the DCOA except so far as they relate to the making of orders by Ministers in the Scottish Parliament. The deregulation order-making power was devolved under the Scotland Act 1998, and the procedure amended by Article 117 of the Scotland Act 1998 (Consequential Modifications) (No. 2) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No.1820). It is therefore available for use by Scottish Ministers as regards devolved matters as they see fit. The regulatory reform order-making power will not be available to Scottish Ministers. In line with the devolution settlement, it will be possible for UK Ministers to make orders that cover reserved matters in Scotland, but they will not be able to make orders covering devolved matters. If the legislation under reform was passed before the Scotland Act 1998, covers Scotland as well as England and Wales and applies to a devolved matter, a UK Minister may:

  • act independently from the Scottish Parliament, repealing the legislation so far as it relates to England and Wales and replacing the provisions with a regulatory reform order. This means that the old primary legislation would still apply in Scotland; or

  • work with the Scottish Parliament to ensure that the changes made by the regulatory reform order were mirrored in Scotland and the old legislation repealed in its entirety. Unless and until the Scottish Parliament creates its own regulatory reform Order-making power, any changes which are outwith the DCOA vires would have to be made by Scottish primary legislation.

115. Similar arrangements apply in relation to the section 5 powers.

116. If, on the day the Bill receives Royal Assent, a proposed deregulation order has begun its 60 day Parliamentary scrutiny, but has not reached the stage when the draft order is formally laid, then subsection (2) allows it to be carried over and to complete its passage as a deregulation order notwithstanding the repeal of the DCOA.

117. Subsection (4) makes clear that any deregulation orders passed under the DCOA are not affected by the repeal of the DCOA.

Clause 13: Consequential amendments

118. Section 6 of the DCOA (which enables the Secretary a State to prescribe model provisions with respect to appeals) contains defined terms which refer to section 5 of the Act. Consequential amendments are needed to ensure that section 6 remains intelligible after the repeal of section 5. There is no need for this clause to extend to Scotland, as the repeal does not extend to Scotland, and subsection (2) makes this clear.

Clause 14: Interpretation

119. The effect of defining Wales as it is defined for the purposes of the Government of Wales Act 1998 is that the sea around Wales is included.

Clause 15: Short title and extent

120. Subsection (2) makes clear that the Bill extends to Northern Ireland (cf paragraph 47 above) Subsection (3) makes clear that regulatory reform orders may have the same territorial extent as the legislation being reformed.

FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL

121. The Bill sets out the framework for regulatory reform orders and enforcement codes i.e. the circumstances under which they can be brought forward and the limitations to the power. As an enabling Act, it will itself have no financial effect. Any financial effects will flow over time from the individual orders that are brought forward by Ministers under the Act or from the impact of any enforcement codes. The financial effect of each regulatory reform order will be detailed in the document presented to Parliament alongside the draft, as required under clause 6(2)(f). All regulatory reform orders will remove or reduce burdens, and it is envisaged that regulatory reform orders will, in general, have a net positive effect. The financial effect of any enforcement codes will be detailed in the regulatory impact assessment relating to any proposal to issue a code.

EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER

122. As with financial effects, the Bill itself will have no impact on public service manpower, and any effects will flow from the orders and any codes brought forward under the power. The effect of each order and code on public service manpower will be included in both the regulatory impact assessment (detailed below) and, for regulatory reform orders, the document presented to Parliament under clause 6(1).

SUMMARY OF THE REGULATORY APPRAISAL

123. The Cabinet Office has produced a regulatory impact assessment for the Bill, which has been placed in the Library of each House. Copies are also available from the Cabinet Office on 020 7276 2199 or by e-mailing [email protected] or for download at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/bill/index.htm. In sum, as with financial effects and effects on public service manpower, the regulatory impact of the Bill itself is negligible because it is only an enabling power. The regulatory impact on business, charities, the voluntary sector, individuals or the public sector will flow from orders and any codes brought forward under the new Act. The amendments made to the Bill in the House of Lords have not changed this regulatory impact assessment.

124. Each proposed regulatory reform order and any enforcement code brought forward will be accompanied by its own regulatory impact assessment. As orders are primarily aimed at lifting regulatory burdens, the net effect in each case is expected to be positive. Similarly, the provisions on the making of enforcement codes are intended to be for the benefit of business and so the result would be expected to be beneficial to business.

125. While the Bill has no public expenditure implications itself, an order under it could give rise to the expenditure of public monies. For that reason, the Bill will require a money resolution.

COMMENCEMENT

126. The provisions of the Bill will come into effect on Royal Assent.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

127. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement, before second reading, about the compatibility of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined in section 1 of that Act). The provisions of the Bill are regarded as compatible with the Convention rights and Dr Marjorie Mowlam, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has made the following statement:

"In my view the provisions of the Regulatory Reform Bill are compatible with the Convention rights."

ANNEX A: LIST OF DEREGULATION ORDERS TO DATE

1. The Deregulation (Greyhound Racing) Order 1995 (S.I., 1995, No. 3231) permitted inter-track betting for greyhound racing. Estimated to increase the greyhound industry's gross income by £2-3 million a year.

2. The Deregulation (Building Societies) Order 1995 (S.I., 1995, No. 3233) contained a number of measures, including increasing to 50% the percentage limit on societies' non-retail funds. Estimated to save the industry £400,000 a year for each point the wholesale interest rate is below the retail interest rate.

3. The Deregulation (Fair Trading Act 1973) (Amendment) (Merger Reference Time Limits) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 345) shortened deadlines for referring mergers to the Director General of Fair Trading.

4. The Deregulation (Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976) (Amendment) (Variation of Exempt Agreements) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 346) removed the requirement for advance clearance by the Director General of Fair Trading of variations to certain agreements. Estimated to save industry £100,000 a year.

5. The Deregulation (Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976) (Amendment) (Time Limits) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 347) simplified time limits for notification of agreements to the Director General of Fair Trading.

6. The Deregulation (Corn Returns Act 1882) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 848) allowed exemptions to the requirement for purchasers of corn to make weekly returns. Estimated to save the industry £100,000 a year.

7. The Deregulation (Length of School Day) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 951) removed restrictions on the procedure for changing the length of the school day.

8. The Deregulation (Special Hours Certificates) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/977) introduced provisional special hours licensing certificates.

9. The Deregulation (Friendly Societies Act 1992) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1188) contained a number of measures, including removing some regulatory and accounting requirements for friendly societies.

10. The Deregulation (Credit Unions) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1189) contained a number of measures, including extending the maximum amount that members of credit unions can borrow and hold in shares.

11. The Deregulation (Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1868) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1211(S.122)) permitted the sale of farmed salmon roe. Estimated to give the Scottish salmon industry access to markets worth £12 million a year.

12. The Deregulation (Long Pull) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1339) abolished the "long pull" offence, which prohibited publicans from serving more alcohol than requested.

13. The Deregulation (Gaming Machines and Betting Office Facilities) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1359) contained a number of measures, including permitting jackpot machines to give all-cash prizes (rather than just tokens) and permitting a greater number of gaming machines in casinos and bingo clubs. Estimated to save the industry £7 million a year through reduced fraud and administration.

14. The Deregulation (Resolutions of Private Companies) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1471) removed the requirement for private companies to consult auditors in written resolution procedures.

15. The Deregulation (Parking Equipment) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1553) abolished the requirement for type approval of parking control equipment. Estimated to save central and local government £70,000 a year in administration costs.

16. The Deregulation (Gun Barrel Proving) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1576) allowed Proof Houses (which prove and mark civilian small arms) to set their own prices.

17. The Deregulation (Motor Vehicles Tests) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1700) allowed a car's first MOT certificate to run for 13 months. Estimated to save the public over £3 million a year.

18. The Deregulation (Industrial and Provident Societies) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1738) contained a number of measures, including aligning the audit requirement thresholds for industrial and provident societies with those of private companies. Estimated to save £3 million a year.

19. The Deregulation (Wireless Telegraphy) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1864) abolished the requirements for TV dealers to hold TV licences and to register with the BBC. Estimated to save TV dealers £10,000 a year.

20. The Deregulation (Building) (Initial Notices and Final Certificates) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 1905) reduced paperwork requirements and restrictions for approved building inspectors. Estimated to reduce approved building inspectors' costs by up to £61,000 a year.

21. The Deregulation (Insurance Companies Act 1982) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 2102) contained a number of measures, including abolishing the requirement for production of five yearly statements of business and permitting annual returns to be made electronically. All measures taken together estimated to save the industry £6 million every five years.

22. The Deregulation (Slaughterhouses Act 1974 and Slaughter of Animals (Scotland) Act 1980) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 2235) contained a number of measures, including removing duplicatory requirements for the licensing of slaughterhouses. Estimated to save the industry £100,000 a year.

23. The Deregulation (Still-Birth and Death Registration) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 2395) permitted notification of death to any registrar (not just the registrar in the locality where the death occurred). Estimated to produce few monetary savings but to reduce the emotional burden significantly.

24. The Deregulation (Bills of Exchange) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 2993) contained a number of measures including permitting the electronic presentation of cheques. Estimated to save the banking industry £30 million a year.

25. The Deregulation (Rag Flock and other Filling Materials Act 1951) (Repeal) Order 1996 (S.I., 1996, No. 3097) repealed the 1951 Act. Estimated to save the upholstering industry £8,000 a year in compliance costs.

26. The Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 950) reduced the required time lapse between a new member of a casino club joining the club and being permitted to participate in gaming and allowed special hours certificates to be issued for casinos.

27. The Deregulation (Employment in Bars) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 957) permitted people aged under 18 on approved apprenticeship schemes to serve in bars.

28. The Deregulation (Gaming on Sunday in Scotland) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 941 (S.83)) brought Sunday opening hours for bingo clubs and casinos in Scotland into line with those in England & Wales.

29. The Deregulation (Betting Licensing) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 947) extended the validity of betting office licences. Estimated to save the industry £450,000 a year.

30. The Deregulation (Validity of Civil Preliminaries to Marriage) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 986) allowed bookings for weddings at registry offices to be made up to twelve months in advance instead of only three.

31. The Deregulation (Occasional Permissions) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 1133) increased from four to twelve the number of occasional permissions to sell alcohol available each year to non-profit making organisations.

32. The Deregulation (Provision of School Action Plans) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 1142) permitted failing schools to issue a summary of the statement of their proposed action to all parents, rather than issuing the full statement.

33. The Deregulation (Football Pools) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 1073) removed the restriction on pools betting on midweek football matches.

34. The Deregulation (Betting and Bingo Advertising etc.) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No.1074) removed some advertising restrictions on bingo clubs.

35. The Deregulation (Casinos and Bingo Clubs: Debit Cards) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 1075) allowed debit cards to be used in casinos and bingo clubs.

36. The Deregulation (Non-Fossil Fuel) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 1185) allowed suppliers of electricity other than that which is connected to the national grid to qualify for the Fossil Fuel Levy.

37. The Deregulation (Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 1187) removed duplicatory requirements for licensing of pleasure boats.

38. The Deregulation (Licence Transfers) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 114) streamlined licence transfer procedures.

39. The Deregulation (Deduction from Pay of Union Subscriptions) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1529), also known as the Check Off Order, removed the need for 3-yearly re-authorisation of deduction of trade union subscriptions from pay.

40. The Deregulation (Methylated Spirits Sale By Retail) (Scotland) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1602 (S.87)) removed requirements imposed on retailers selling methylated spirits in Scotland.

41. The Deregulation (Exchangeable Driving Licences) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1917) recognised some non-UK driving licences as valid for the purposes of driving in the UK.

42. The Deregulation (Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1946) permitted holders of Northern Ireland driving licences to be granted a licence to drive a private hire vehicle or taxi in England (excluding London) and Wales, putting them on an equal footing with holders of Great Britain and European driving licences.

43. The Deregulation (Weights and Measures) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 503) allowed self verification of weighing and measuring equipment by manufacturers, installers and repairers.

44. The Deregulation (Pipe-lines) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 742) removed the need for consent of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions for certain matters relating to the construction of pipe-lines.

45. The Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 2136) reduced further the required time lapse between a new member of a casino club joining the club and being permitted to participate in gaming (previously addressed by the Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1997 (S.I., 1997, No. 950)).

46. The Deregulation (Millennium Licensing) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 2137) relaxed the restrictions on opening hours of licensed premises over Millennium Eve.

47. The Deregulation (Sunday Dancing) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 3372) allows public dances held on Sundays to charge an admission fee.

48. The Deregulation (Sunday Licensing) Order 2001 allows licensed premises to apply on Sundays for an extension to the time they can sell or serve alcohol beyond the permitted hour of 10.30pm on Sundays. (Subject to affirmation).

ANNEX B: STANDING ORDERS RELATING TO DEREGULATION ORDERS

Standing Orders of the House of Commons

18. - (1) If the Deregulation Committee has reported under paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 141 (Deregulation Committee) that a draft order laid before the House under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 should be approved and a motion is made by a Minister of the Crown to that effect, the question thereon shall-

(a) if the committee's recommendation was agreed without a division, be put forthwith;

(b) if the committee's recommendation was agreed after a division, be put not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion.

(2) If the committee has reported that a draft order should not be approved, no motion to approve the draft order shall be made unless the House has previously resolved to disagree with the committee's report; the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion for such a resolution to disagree shall be put not later than three hours after their commencement; and the question shall be put forthwith on any motion thereafter made by a Minister of the Crown that such a draft order be approved.

(3) Motions to which this order applies may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.

141. - (1) There shall be a select committee, called the Deregulation Committee, to examine every document containing proposals laid before the House under section 3, and every draft order proposed to be made under section 1, of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994.

(2) The committee shall report to the House, in relation to every document containing proposals laid before the House under the said section 3, either

(a) that a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or

(b) that the proposals should be amended before a draft order is laid before the House; or

(c) that the order-making power should not be used in respect of the proposals.

(3) The committee shall report to the House, in relation to every draft order laid before the House under the said section 1, its recommendation whether the draft order should be approved.

(4) The committee may report to the House on any matter arising from consideration of the said proposals or draft orders.

(5)(A) In its consideration of proposals the committee shall consider in each case whether the proposals

(a) appear to make an inappropriate use of delegated legislation;

(b) remove or reduce a burden or the authorisation or requirement of a burden;

(c) continue any necessary protection;

(d) have been the subject of, and take appropriate account of, adequate consultation;

(e) impose a charge on the public revenues or contain provisions requiring payments to be made to the Exchequer or any government department or to any local or public authority in consideration of any licence or consent or of any services to be rendered, or prescribe the amount of any such charge or payment;

(f) purport to have retrospective effect;

(g) give rise to doubts whether they are intra vires;

(h) require elucidation or appear to be defectively drafted;

(i) appear to be incompatible with any obligation resulting from membership of the European Union.

(B) In its consideration of draft orders, the committee shall consider in each case all the matters set out in sub-paragraph (A) above and the extent to which the Minister concerned has had regard to any resolution or report of the Committee or to any other representations made during the period for parliamentary consideration.

(6) The committee shall consist of eighteen members.

(7) The quorum of the committee shall be five.

(8) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.

(9) The committee shall have power-

(a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom, and to report from time to time;

(b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference;

(c) to appoint a sub-committee, of which the quorum shall be two, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom;

(d) to communicate its evidence and any other documents relating to matters of common interest to any committee appointed by this House and to any committee appointed by the Lords to examine deregulation proposals and draft orders.

 

(10) The committee and the sub-committee shall have leave to meet concurrently with any select committee appointed by the Lords to examine deregulation proposals and draft orders and any sub-committee thereof.

(11) The committee and the sub-committee shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker and, if their Lordships think fit, the Counsel to the Lord Chairman of Committees.

(12) The committee and the sub-committee shall have power to invite Members of the House who are not members of the committee to attend meetings at which witnesses are being examined and such Members may, at the discretion of the chairman, ask questions of those witnesses; but no Member not being of the committee shall otherwise take part in the proceedings of the committee or sub-committee, or be counted in the quorum.

(13) It shall be an instruction to the committee that before reporting either

(a) that any proposal should be amended before a draft order is laid before the House, or

(b) that the order-making power should not be used in respect of any proposal, or

(c) that any draft order should not be approved,

it shall afford to any government department concerned an opportunity of furnishing orally or in writing to it or to the sub-committee appointed by it such explanations as the department think fit.

(14) It shall be an instruction to the committee that it report on every draft order not more than fifteen sitting days after the draft order was laid before the House, indicating in the case of draft orders which it recommends should be approved whether its recommendation was agreed without a division.

Standing Orders of the House of Lords

40. Notices shall be entered in the Order Paper in the order in which they are received at the Table, provided that:

(1) Starred Questions shall be entered before other business.

(2) Notices relating to Private Business may be entered before Public Business. At the discretion of the Chairman of Committees they may also be entered later in the Order Paper.

(3) Notices relating to the Business of the House and to the Chairman of Committees' Business, if he so desires, shall have priority over other Public Business except Starred Questions.

(4) On all sitting days except Wednesdays, notices and orders relating to Public Bills, Measures, Affirmative Instruments and reports from Select Committees of the House shall have precedence over other notices and orders save the foregoing.

(5) On Wednesdays, notices of Motions shall have precedence over notices and orders relating to Public Bills, Measures and delegated legislation.

(6) Any motion relating to a report from the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee on a draft order laid under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 shall be entered before a motion to approve that draft order.

(7) Subject to paragraphs (4), (5) and (6) the precedence of notices and orders relating to Public Bills, Measures, Affirmative Instruments and reports from Select Committees of the House may be varied on any day, if the convenience of the House so requires.

(8) Unstarred Questions shall be entered last.

72. - (1) No Motion for a resolution of the House to approve an Affirmative Instrument shall be moved until:

(a) except in the case of any Order in Council or draft Order in Council made or proposed to be made under paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974, or a draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1974, there has been laid before the House the report thereon of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments;

(b) in the case of a draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, there has been laid before the House the report thereon of the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee; and

(c) in the case of a Hybrid Instrument, the proceedings under Private Business Standing Order 216 or 216A have been terminated.

(2) In this Standing Order "Affirmative Instrument" means an Order in Council, departmental order, rules, regulations, scheme or other similar instrument presented to or laid or laid in draft before the House where an affirmative resolution is required before it, or any part of it, becomes effective, or is made, or is a condition of its continuance in operation: but the expression does not include a Measure laid before the House under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 nor regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act 1920.

(3) An Order in Council that may not be made except in response to an address by the House to Her Majesty is an Affirmative Instrument within the meaning of this Standing Order, and a Motion for an address to Her Majesty praying that an order be made is a Motion to approve the order.

(4) An order, rules, regulations, scheme or instrument laid in draft before the House for the purpose of being approved by resolution of the House is an Affirmative Instrument within the meaning of this Standing Order notwithstanding that, if the draft is not approved, that instrument is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House.

 
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Prepared: 6 March 2001