Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirteenth Report


Memorandum by the Commissioners of Customs and Exercise



  1. The Committee, by a letter from the Clerk dated 5 November 1997, ask the Commissioners to submit a memorandum on the following points:

    "Section 26(11) of the 1995 Act empowers the Treasury to specify the titles of officers who are `superior officers' for the purposes of section 26 (powers of detention and search). Article 2 specifies for this purpose certain titles and `any other title within job band 9'. Explain what is meant by `job band 9', what the other titles are within that job band and why they are not in terms specified".

What is meant by job band 9?

  2. The Commissioners of Customs and Excise introduced a new pay and grading structure for the Department. Under that new structure the civil service grades previously used (executive officer, higher executive officer, etc.) were abolished. In their place 12 job bands were introduced along with the adoption of job titles which were felt to more accurately reflect the job a person performed. Posts falling within job band 9 of the new system broadly equate to those posts which were previously held by senior executive officers. There are numerous job titles which describe the job performed by persons holding posts within job band 9 but the common denominator which attaches to all of those titles is that the person is at a level of seniority in the Department that equates to the civil service grade of senior executive officer.

What other titles are within that job band?

  3. As indicated above, there are numerous job titles used to describe jobs held by persons within job band 9. The titles specifically referred to in the Order, all of which are held by persons who will be in at least a job band 9 post, are those of persons who would normally exercise the functions of a "superior officer" under section 26 of the 1995 Act. There may however be circumstances where for operational reasons persons who would not normally be expected to perform the role of a "superior officer" have to do so. Rather than provide an exhaustive list of the many individual job titles that a person in these circumstances might have the Order adopted the approach of specifying any other job title for a post falling within job band 9. The combined effect of these provisions ensures the role of a "superior officer" continues to be performed by a person of at least the equivalent of the former grade of senior executive officer.

Why are those other titles not in terms specified?

  4. As has been indicated above the four titles listed are those most commonly used to describe officers engaged in the detection in Scotland of drug smuggling by the secreting of drugs in a person's body. They are therefore those most likely to be exercising the powers of a "superior officer" under section 26 of the 1995 Act but in some circumstances it may be necessary for others in job band 9 to exercise the powers. To list all such job titles would have unnecessarily lengthened and complicated the Order and therefore the approach which had been adopted without attracting adverse comment from the Committee in previous statutory instruments of a similar nature was adopted again in this Order.

  5. The previous statutory instruments referred to above were:

    (i)   The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Application to Customs and Excise) (Amendment) Order 1996 S.I. 1996/1860. In particular article 2(b) of that Order.

    (ii)   The Police and Criminal Evidence (Application to Customs and Excise) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 1996 S.I. 1996/292. In particular article 2(b) of that Order.

7th November 1997

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1997
Prepared 19 December 1997