Memorandum by the Northern
1997 (S.R. 1997/545)
1997 (S.R. 1997/555)
The Committee, in its letter of 4 February
1998, requested a memorandum on the following points.
(1) S.R. 1997/545 was
made on 19 December 1997 but was not laid before Parliament until
21 January 1998. S.R. 1997/555 was made on 19 December 1997 but
was not laid until 22 January 1998. Explain the reason for the
(2) Paragraph (2) of regulation
7 of S.R. 1997/555 provides that the Regulations are not to apply
to vessels which are registered outside the United Kingdom and
are on passage through territorial waters. Explain the need for
this provision, given that paragraph (1) provides that the Regulations
are to apply within territorial waters to certain activities in
relation to any building or other structure not
being a vessel.
(3) Explain why regulation
7(3) of S.R. 1997/555, instead of referring the reader to the
definitions of "territorial waters" and "vessel"
in regulation 2(1) of the Offshore Installations and Pipeline
Works (Management and Administration) Regulations (Northern Ireland)
1995, does not set out those definitions.
2. With regard to point (1) delay,
in the case of the first mentioned Regulations, was largely accounted
for by the fact that the timetable (which was drawn up before
Christmas) for the processing of the draft regulations provided
for them to be made on or by 5th January and for arrangements
to be made with HMSO for the Northern Ireland Statutory Publications
Office to receive the required number of prints of the Regulations
not later than 19th January 1998 (ie within two weeks of the 5th
January deadline). The printers were closed for Christmas and
the New Year until Monday 5th January. This timetable therefore
allowed for the Christmas and New Year holiday period. However
the Regulations were in fact made on Friday 19th December 1997
(ie shortly before the holiday period commenced). Prints of the
Regulations were received by the Northern Ireland Statutory Publications
Office from HMSO on 14th January 1998 and were forwarded by that
Office to the Home Office Legal Adviser's Branch on the same date.
There appears to have been some further, at present unaccountable,
delay in the course of transmission before they arrived in the
Home Office Legal Adviser's Branch on 21 January 1998. They were
laid before Parliament on the same date. Similar considerations
applied in the case of S.R. 1997/555. Any undue delay between
making and laying is much regretted and the Department will endeavour
to ensure, whenever possible, that instruments are laid speedily
after they are made.
3. With regard to point (2) the
Department accepts that as paragraph (1) of regulation 7 specifically
does not apply to "vessels" there is no need for the
additional exclusion contained in paragraph (2) in relation to
foreign-registered "vessels" in transit through territorial
waters. The Department will revoke the superfluous paragraph
(2) in the next suitable vehicle.
4. With regard to point (3) the
Department took the view that it was sufficient to define by reference
to the definitions in the earlier Instrument but accepts that
it would be more convenient for the reader of these Regulations
to have the definitions set out in them. Again this will be done
in the next suitable vehicle.
10th February 1998