Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-Third Report



Further memorandum from the Department of Health and the Privy Council Office

GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (VOLUNTARY ERASURE AND RESTORATION) REGULATIONS ORDER OF COUNCIL 2000 (S.I. 2000/2033)

GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (THE PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE, THE GENERAL HEALTH COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE) (AMENDMENT) RULES ORDER OF COUNCIL 2000 (S.I. 2000/2034)

GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (FITNESS TO PRACTICE COMMITTEES) RULES ORDER OF COUNCIL 2000 (S.I. 2000/2051)

GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (CONSTITUTION OF INTERIM ORDERS COMMITTEE) RULES ORDER OF COUNCIL 2000 (S.I. 2000/2052)

GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (INTERIM ORDERS COMMITTEE) (PROCEDURE) RULES ORDER OF COUNCIL 2000 (S.I. 2000/2053)

GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (INTERIM ORDERS COMMITTEE) (TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS) RULES ORDER OF COUNCIL 2000 (S.I. 2000/2054)

  1. This is the Memorandum requested by the Committee at its meeting on 10th June.
  2. "Elaborate on the statement, in the memorandum dated 14 May, that the need to lay these instruments was overlooked, and explain what steps have been taken to prevent such an oversight occurring again."

  3. Department of Health and the Privy Council Office are both extremely sorry that these six Orders were not laid before Parliament when they were made in June and July 2000. Both Departments apologise to the Committee for the errors that led to the requirement to lay being overlooked.
  4. There appear to have been two failures in respect of the six Orders. First, when drafted by DoH lawyers and passed to PCO, there was no mention on the face of the Orders of the requirement to lay them. Secondly, this omission was not spotted when the drafts were checked by PCO staff. Although the staff concerned are not experts on every piece of legislation under which Orders of Council are made, this should certainly have been noticed, for a considerable number of similar Orders pass through the Office and they are commonly laid.
  5. In both departments, the attention of relevant staff has been drawn to the errors made, to the consequences of these errors and to the need to check all statutory instruments most carefully to ascertain whether or not they are required to be laid. PCO staff have been specifically instructed to check with originating departments if a draft Order contains no mention of laying and it appears that it should. Long-standing procedures already exist in PCO to ensure that, when an Order states that it is to be laid, laying is actually carried out.

18th June 2002

 


 
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