Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fourth Report


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 Lord Chancellor's Department in connection with the Legal Advice and Assistance (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 1998 (S.I. 1998/2907) is printed in Appendix I to this Report.

TAYSIDE PRIMARY CARE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE TRUST (ESTABLISHMENT) ORDER 1998 (S.I. 1998/2710) (AND S.I. NOS. 1998/2709, 2711—16, 2722—25, 2728—29 AND 2731—35)

  3. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Orders on the ground that they are defectively drafted.

  The Committee asked the Department to explain why, given that the Order relates to the establishment of an NHS Trust, consultation carried out by the Secretary of State under the National Health Service Trusts (Consultation on Dissolution) (Scotland) Regulations 1993 is recited in the preamble to this Order. The Committee raised the same question on several other similar orders[2]. In the memorandum printed in Appendix II the Scottish Office Department of Health explain that the Secretary of State is empowered to combine consultation on the establishment of new NHS trusts (under the National Health Service Trusts (Consultation before Establishment) (Scotland) Regulations 1991) with consultation on dissolution under the 1993 Regulations. This is what was done for the Tayside Order and the other establishment orders. This seems to the Committee to miss the point that the only consultation required for the power under consideration[3] to be exercised is consultation under the 1991 Regulations, and so the reference in the recital to the 1993 Regulations is wrongly included. The Committee reports the recital of powers to this Order, and the other orders, as being defectively drafted.

SOCIAL SECURITY (CONTRIBUTIONS) AMENDMENT (NO. 5) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/2894)

  4. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted.

  Regulation 2 extends regulation 18 of the 1979 Regulations so as to bring into the requirement to compute beneficial interests as earnings (a) shares in bodies corporate capable of being acquired under option; and (b) vouchers capable of being exchanged for such options, where those interests are readily convertible assets. Excluded from this new requirement are interests in or in connection with a body corporate (as defined in new regulation 18(2B)) where that body is "a local authority within the meaning of section 842A of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 or a local authority association within the meaning of section 519 of that Act". The Committee asked the Department of Social Security whether and how the excluded interests arise in the local authority sector. The Department say in the memorandum printed in Appendix III that there is no corporate body limited by shares which currently falls within the definition of "local authority" or a "local authority association" for the purposes of sections 842A and 519 of the 1988 Act respectively, and therefore accept that the reference to local authorities and local authority associations is unnecessary. The Committee reports regulation 2 of the present Regulations for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

MERCHANT SHIPPING AND FISHING VESSELS (MANUAL HANDLING OPERATIONS) REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/2857)

  5. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the grounds that they are defectively drafted in two places.

  The Committee asked the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions why regulation 3(2) applies, amongst others, itself (application to non-United Kingdom ships) and regulation 1 (citation and commencement) to non-United Kingdom ships when in United Kingdom waters. They explain in the memorandum printed in Appendix IV that the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention 1976 requires the United Kingdom to apply — to a limited extent — minimum safety standards to non-United Kingdom ships in relation to manual handling operations. The Committee's point, however, is that it is an unnecessary — and indeed subversive — duplication to include a separate proposition in article 3(2) making it (and regulation 1) apply when they already do so. In this respect regulation 3(2) is defectively drafted, and the Committee reports accordingly.

  Regulation 13 refers to "a detention notice or order under these Regulations". The Department admit, in response to a question by the Committee, that the words in italics should not have been included and undertake to remove them at the first suitable opportunity. The Committee reports regulation 13 for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.


1  
The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set out in the First Report, Session 1998-99 (HL Paper 4; HC 50-i). Back

2   The others are S.I. Nos. 1998/2709, 2711-16, 2722-25, 2728-29 and 2731-35. Back

3   Sections 12A(1) and (4) of and paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6(2)(d) of Schedule 7A to the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. Back


 
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Prepared 22 January 1999