Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Second Report


SECOND REPORT


FROM THE JOINT COMMITTEE OF BOTH HOUSES APPOINTED TO SCRUTINISE STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS, ETC.

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.

2. A memorandum from the Department of Health in connection with the National Health Service (Miscellaneous Dental Charges Amendments) Regulations 2002 (S.I. 2002/2353) is printed in Appendix 1.

HOUSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2001 (ACCOMMODATION FOR ASYLUM-SEEKERS) ORDER 2002 (S.I. 2002/2367)

3. The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to this Order on the ground that there was an unjustified breach of the 21­day rule.

4. This Order was laid before Parliament on 17 September 2002 and came into force on 30 September 2002. It therefore contravened the 21­day rule mentioned in paragraph 5.21 of Statutory Instrument Practice, which requires that instruments subject to annulment should normally not be brought into force until 21 days after laying. Contrary to the requirement in paragraph 5.22 of Statutory Instrument Practice, no explanation for this breach was provided to the Committee. In a memorandum printed at Appendix 2, the Home Office explains the reason for ensuring that the Order came into force on the same day as the relevant provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, which introduce a new form of tenancy right in Scotland, the Scottish secure tenancy. It states that the need for the Order was only recognised at the end of August, and a number of "last minute technical issues" needed consideration by the relevant departments. A memorandum explaining the reason for the breach had been drafted, but due to an administrative error, it was not submitted to the Committee.

5. The Committee, while recognising the need for the Order to come into force on 30 September 2002, does not find the reason for the breach of the 21­day rule convincing. The need for the Order should have been foreseen earlier. It contains a single brief substantive provision, and no explanation is provided of the last minute technical issues mentioned above. The Committee therefore does not consider the reasons put forward in the memorandum to be an adequate justification for the breach of the 21­day rule. The Committee accordingly reports this Order for an unjustified breach of the 21­day rule.



 
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Prepared 3 December 2002