Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Sixth Report


Memorandum from the Home Office


1. The Joint Committee has requested a memorandum on the following point in respect of this Order -

"Explain the reasons for the substantial increase in fees made by article 2"

2. The income from fees charged for certificates issued under the 1986 Act has to recover all staff and other costs directly associated with administering the Act. It is also a requirement that annual expenditure and income should as far as practicable break even. The general rules applying in such situations are set out in the HM Treasury publication, "The Fees and Charges Guide".

3. There has been no fee increase since April 2000. As a result a final end of year deficit of over £200,000 is expected for 2001/02, and this will become much greater by the end of 2002/03 if fees remain at the current level.

4. Moreover, significant new expenditure will be incurred in 2002/03, through recruitment of additional members of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate. The Minister concerned made clear to Parliament, when announcing expansion of the Inspectorate in March 2001, that the extra costs would have to be recovered through fees.

5. A Ministerial decision has thus been taken to increase the fees by 48%, both to offset the accrued and projected deficits arising from current levels of expenditure, and to cover the costs of additional Inspectors. Failure to increase the fees now will result in even larger increases having to be sought at a later stage.

6. As noted in footnote (a) to the Order, fees may take account of past deficits (by virtue of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (Fees) (No1) Order 1996 (S.I.1996/3090)).

5 April 2002

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