Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Third Report


THIRD 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.

           

 FISHING VESSELS (EC DIRECTIVE ON HARMONISED SAFETY REGIME) REGULATIONS 1999

(S.I. 1999/2998)

  2. The Committee draws the special attention of the House to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted, as acknowledged in the Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions printed in Appendix 1.

  3. Regulation 11(3) prohibits persons from doing specified dishonest acts in relation to surveys and certificates of compliance of fishing vessels under the Regulations. The Committee asked the Department to explain the omission of a provision making it an offence for a person to do any of the prohibited acts. The Department apologises for the error which they undertake to correct in the near future. The Committee reports the Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted.

PRICE MARKING ORDER 1999 (S.I. 1999/3042)

  4. The Committee draws the special attention of the House to this Order on the ground that it is defectively drafted, as acknowledged in the Memorandum by the Department of Trade and Industry printed in Appendix 2.

  5. Article 1(1) of the Order provides for article 2(1) to come into force on 4 December 1999 and for all other articles to come into force in March 2000. The Committee asked the Department why it was not made explicit in the Order that article 1(1) itself was to come into force on 4 December 1999. The Department accept that the omission of an explicit reference to the date of coming into force of Article 1(1) is an error, for which they apologise. The Committee reports article 1(1) for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

INSURANCE BROKERS REGISTRATION COUNCIL ELECTION SCHEME APPROVAL ORDER 1999

(S.I. 1999/3030)

  6. The Committee draws the special attention of the House to this Order on the grounds that it is defectively drafted, as acknowledged in the Memorandum by the Treasury printed in Appendix 3 and that it fails to include a necessary footnote.

  7. This Order approves an election Scheme made by the Insurers Brokers Registration Council under the Insurance Brokers (Registration) Act 1977. Paragraph 6(1) of the Scheme provides that the Council shall cause elections to be held from time to time for the election of six members to fill vacancies arising in its membership. The Committee asked the Department to explain why this provision was limited to the election of six members, given that paragraph 1 of the Schedule to the 1977 Act provided for the Council to consist of 12 members chosen to represent registered insurance brokers.

  8. The Department explain that paragraph 1 of the Schedule to the 1977 Act has been substituted by the Insurance Brokers (Registration) Act 1977 (Amendment) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/3000) which came into force on 8th November 1999. As a result, the representation of registered insurance brokers in the membership of the Council has been changed from twelve to six. Whilst the Committee accepts this explanation, it reminds the Department that, in accordance with paragraph 2.47 of Statutory Instrument Practice, "the user of a statutory instrument should ... be provided with information about relevant amendments or extensions to, or application of, enactments mentioned in the instruments" and that the relevant information should be provided in footnotes. The Committee reports the Order on the ground that it fails to include a necessary footnote.

  9. The Department accept that the reference, in paragraph 28(c) of the Scheme, to the Reference of the People Act 1949 should have been a reference to the Representation of the People Act 1983. The Committee reports that provision for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Department.

VETERINARY SURGEONS AND VETERINARY PRACTITIONERS (REGISTRATION) REGULATIONS ORDER OF COUNCIL 1999 (S.I. 1999/2846)

  10. The Committee draws the special attention of the House to this Order on the ground that it is defectively drafted, as acknowledged in the Memorandum by the Privy Council Office printed in Appendix 4.

  11. The Committee asked the following questions.

"(1)  in the Schedule ought not—

    (a)  the references, in regulations 13(a)(c) and 14 (a), to regulation "20" to have read "19";

    (b)  the references, in regulations 17 and 18, to regulation "22" to have read "21"?

(2)  In the Table of Fees, ought not—

    (a)  the refrences, in paragraphs 3 and 4, to regulation "20" to have read "19";

    (b)  the reference, in paragraph 5, to regulation "21" to have read "20"?"

It is necessary to set out the question in full because the memorandum from the Privy Council Office omitted to do so. The Committee draws attention to the observations at paragraph 10 of its First Special Report (Session 1995-96) that "any failure to set out the question in full makes the task of the reader more difficult and hinders ready comprehension. Departments are reminded that in all cases memoranda requested by the Committee should set out each question in full before each response."

  12. The Privy Council Office's memorandum acknowledges that the references in the Schedule and the Table of Fees are incorrect, and indicates that the corrections will be made by means of a printer's correction slip. However, this would not be the correct way of proceeding, since issuing a correction slip is only appropriate where the discrepancy is between the original instrument and the printed copy. The Privy Council have subsequently indicated that these corrections will now be made when the Regulations are consolidated next year. The Committee reports the various provisions mentioned above for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Privy Council Office.


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


 
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