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.
1999 (S.I. 1999/3056).
2. The Committee draws the special
attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the grounds that
they require elucidation; and that the explanatory notes are inadequate.
3. These Regulations make provision
requiring certain local authorities to provide support to asylum-seekers
and their dependants who appear to be, or to be likely to become,
destitute. Regulation 2(1) defines a person's "dependant"
in terms of various paragraphed cases, including in paragraph
(c) his being a member of his (or his spouse's) "close family".
The Committee asked the Home Office to explain what relationships
constitute "close family". The Home Office, in the memorandum
printed in Appendix 1, explains that, because family structures
in foreign countries are often more diffuse than family structures
in the United Kingdom, the policy was to use an expression with
sufficient flexibility to adapt to circumstances as they arose
and the memorandum gives some core relationships as examples.
The Committee find this explanation convincing and report the
Regulations as requiring the elucidation given in the memorandum.
4. The Committee also asked
the Home Office to explain the sort of situation covered by the
definition in paragraph (i), namely where that person is himself
"the asylum-seeker" in a case where the "person"
is a claimant for support or is being supported. The Department's
memorandum explains this sort of case with an example where members
of the asylum-seeker's family have been provided with support
where he remains in detention. This definition enables the sylum
seeker, on his release, to be supported as part of the family
without requiring him to make a separate application. The Committee
finds this a sufficient elucidation of the definition and reports
the Regulations accordingly on this point.
5. The Committee also drew the
Department's attention to the inadequacy of the explanatory note,
which contains no explanation of the main provisions of these
regulations. The Committee accept that the explanatory note to
these regulations is accurate but are of the view that they are
too short to be helpful to the reader. The short sentence of further
explanation in the Department's memorandum would have been sufficient
for the purpose and should have been added to the explanatory
note. The Committee report the explanatory note for being inadequate.
1999 (S.I. 1999/3107).
6. The Committee draws the special
attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that
they are defectively drafted.
7. These Regulations implement
Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
dating from 13 October 1998, in relation to the quality of petrol
and diesel fuels.
8. The Committee asked the Department
of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to explain the provision
of Schedule 2, paragraph 1(1), which obliges a permit holder to
ensure that the amount of petrol distributed each month remains
within a specified percentage of that part of the distribution
statement provided in accordance with paragraph 8(c) of
Schedule 1. The Committee (taking the view that the provision
must have been intended to inidcate a quantity of petrol)
asked the Department whether the quantity of leaded petrol, a
percentage of which was not to be exceeded, was intended to be
the total tonnage stated in the applicant's Schedule 1 Statement
under paragraph 6(c). The Department, in the Memorandum printed
in Appendix 2, indicates that the paragraph operated by requiring
the distribution to keep within a percentage of a percentage,
rather than a percentage of a specified tonnage. Accepting this,
the Committee nevertheless considers that it cannot be correct
(as a matter of language and proper drafting) to refer to a percentage
of a statement and accordingly report that this provision
is defectively drafted.
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