Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fourteenth Report



APPENDIX I

Memorandum by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

PUBLIC LENDING RIGHT SCHEME 1982 (COMMENCEMENT

OF VARIATIONS) ORDER 1999 (S.I. 1999/420)

1. The Committee has requested the submission of a memorandum on the following point:

The variations to the Public Lending Right Scheme 1982, as contained in the Appendix, are described in the Explanatory Note as having the effect of allowing "the Registrar to disregard any loans of books that do not have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)". Explain this statement, which implies that the right to disregard such loans is a new right, having regard to the present version of Article 42(3) of the Scheme which already includes that right (though in more restricted terms than the version as amended by variation 2).

The Department's response is as follows.

2. At present, the Public Lending Right Scheme ("the Scheme") provides, in Article 6(2)(g) that, for the purposes of the Scheme the word "book" in the phrase "eligible book" does not include

"(g) a book in respect of which an application for first registration of Public Lending Right has not been made before 30th June 1991 and which does not have an International Standard Book Number."

3. Article 42 of the Scheme, entitled "Method of determining the number of notional loans" contains the following provision:

"(3)...

(c) the Registrar may disregard any loan of a book made after 30th June 1991 from a sampling point if a local library authority, on the first occasion after 30th June 1991 on which it reports, in accordance with article 40, a loan of that book from that sampling point, does not specify an International Standard Book Number in respect of the book, and the book is not registered at the time of such report."

4. The Public Lending Right Scheme 1982 (Commencement of Variations) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/420) ("the Order") provides that the following shall be substituted for the above two sub-paragraphs:

"(g) a book which does not have an International Standard Book Number."

and

"(3)...

(c) the Registrar may disregard any loan of a book reported from a sampling point in accordance with Article 40 where the local library authority does not specify an International Standard Book Number in respect of the book."

5. Whilst the statement in the Explanatory Note is generally accurate, the Department acknowledges that in not referring to the effect of the sub-paragraphs replaced by the Order, the Explanatory Note as a whole does not give as full an account of the effect of the instrument as it should. If read apart from the Scheme, the Explanatory Note could give the impression that the absence of an International Standard Book Number were a new criterion allowing the Registrar to disregard a loan of a book for the purposes of the Scheme.

6. The Department apologises to the Committee for this oversight in the drafting of the Explanatory Note, and acknowledges that it should have been drafted with reference to paragraph 4 of the Special Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments 1985-1986, referred to in paragraph 2.74 of the Statutory Instrument Practice.

7. The second sentence of the second paragraph of the Note should have been to the effect that:

"The effect of the variations is that a book is not an "eligible book" for the purposes of the Scheme if it does not have an International Standard Book Number; and that the Registrar may disregard any loan reported from a sampling point where the local library authority does not specify an International Standard Book Number in respect of the book. The variations supersede the previous Articles 6(2)(g) and 42(3)(c) which were of similar effect but subject to qualifications."

8. As the deficiency identified by the Committee does not affect the operative part of the Order and is unlikely to cause any significant misunderstanding, the Department does not consider that the making of a new Order would be a worthwhile use of resources. It does, however, consider it most important that those drafting statutory instruments on its behalf are aware of the issue raised, and is grateful to the Committee for calling attention to it. The Department will ensure that in future revisions of the Scheme, the Explanatory Note to the Statutory Instrument complies with the principles noted above.

23rd March 1999


 
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