Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Forty-Fourth Report



FORTY-FOURTH REPORT

FROM THE JOINT COMMITTEE OF BOTH HOUSES APPOINTED TO SCRUTINISE STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS, ETC.[1]

ORDERED TO REPORT:

  1. The Committee has considered the instruments set out in the Annex to this Report and has determined that the special attention of both Houses does not require to be drawn to any of them.

  2. A memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in connection with the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) (Amendment) Regulations 1998 (S.I. 1998/1671) is printed in Appendix I to this Report.

  3. A memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in connection with the Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) Regulations 1998 (S.I. 1998/1672) is printed in Appendix II to this Report.

  4. A memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in connection with the Sheep and Goats Spongiform Encephalopathy (Compensation) Order 1998 (S.I. 1998/1647) is printed in Appendix III to this Report.

EDUCATION (ASSISTED PLACES) (SCOTLAND) AMENDMENT
REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/1497)

ST MARY'S MUSIC SCHOOL (AIDED PLACES) AMENDMENT
REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/1498)

  5. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these instruments on the ground that there appears to have been an unjustifiable delay in laying them before Parliament.

  Both of these instruments were made on 11th June but not laid before Parliament until 9th July, and so the Committee asked the Scottish Office to explain the reason for the delay. The Scottish Office gave the same answer for both instruments, printed in Appendix IV. They explain that the reason for the delay was to avoid the "unnecessary" cost of providing typescript copies of the instruments before the final printed version became available. "Time was taken" for the signed typescript versions of the instruments to be passed to the Scottish Office Clerk; they were then numbered before being passed to The Stationery Office for printing; "this process took 3 weeks". The Committee does not consider this to be an acceptable justification for the substantial delay between the making and laying of the instruments, and notes that the usual practice of other Departments is to lay transcript versions to avoid such delay. The Scottish Office indicate that they "will take steps to ensure that the gap between making and laying is kept to a minimum where possible when laying in final printed form". The Committee hopes that these steps will be effective in avoiding any undue delay in laying. The Committee reports both instruments on the ground that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in laying them before Parliament.


The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 1997-98 (HL Paper 4; HC 33-i). Back

 
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Prepared 28 October 1998