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Lord Ezra: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for the detailed and sympathetic response that he gave to these amendments. I am leaving them with the impression that in making the appointments to the panels serious consideration will be given to having persons who, no doubt along with other qualities, possess expertise in consumer matters. If I have that right, I shall be prepared to withdraw the amendment. As regards Amendment No. 164, I would like to think again about its implications. I shall certainly not press the matter further tonight, but I may want to return to it again. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 142 not moved.]

Lord Haskel moved Amendment No. 142A:


Page 56, line 31, leave out from ("appointed") to end of line 32 and insert ("(in accordance with paragraph 15(5)) from the panel maintained under paragraph 22;").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak to Amendments Nos. 142B to 142D; Amendments Nos. 143A and B; Amendments

19 Feb 1998 : Column 378

Nos. 144A to E; Amendments Nos. 171D and G; Amendments Nos. 174C and G; Amendments Nos. 210C and D; and Amendments Nos. 222A and 222B.

This group of amendments make various minor and technical amendments to Schedule 7, with consequential amendments to Schedules 10, 12 and 14. My noble friend Lord Simon indicated in Committee that we wished to make a number of amendments to this part of the Bill in order to tidy up various points which we had not had time to deal with before introduction. These amendments meet that purpose. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Haskel moved Amendments Nos. 142B to 142D:


Page 56, line 36, at end insert--
("(iv) Article 15(9) of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.").
Page 56, line 36, at end insert--
("(1A) A person who is appointed as a member of a kind mentioned in one of paragraphs (a) to (c) of sub-paragraph (1B) may also be appointed as a member of either or both of the other kinds mentioned in those paragraphs.
(1B) The kinds of member are--
(a) an appeal panel member;
(b) a reporting panel member;
(c) a specialist panel member.").
Page 56, line 39, at end insert--
("( ) The validity of the Commission's proceedings is not affected by a defect in the appointment of a member.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to these amendments. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 143 not moved.]

Lord Haskel moved Amendments Nos. 143A and 143B:


Page 57, line 2, at end insert--
("( ) If the chairman is absent or otherwise unable to act, or there is no chairman, any of his functions may be performed--
(a) if there is one deputy chairman, by him;
(b) if there is more than one--
(i) by the deputy chairman designated by the Secretary of State; or
(ii) if no such designation has been made, by the deputy chairman designated by the deputy chairmen;
(c) if there is no deputy chairman able to act--
(i) by the member designated by the Secretary of State; or
(ii) if no such designation has been made, by the member designated by the Commission.").
Page 57, line 33, after ("paragraphs") insert ("3 and").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to these amendments. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 144 not moved.]

19 Feb 1998 : Column 379

Lord Haskel moved Amendments Nos. 144A to 144E:


Page 58, line 27, leave out from first ("of") to ("the") in line 28 and insert ("--
(a) the Secretary of State, as to numbers, and
(b) the Secretary of State and Treasury, as to terms and conditions of service,").
Page 59, leave out lines 4 to 24 and insert--
("(b) prepare a statement of accounts in respect of each of its financial years; and
(c) send copies of the statement to the Secretary of State and to the Comptroller and Auditor General before the end of the month of August next following the financial year to which the statement relates.
(2) The statement of accounts must comply with any directions given by the Secretary of State with the approval of the Treasury as to--
(a) the information to be contained in it,
(b) the manner in which the information contained in it is to be presented, or
(c) the methods and principles according to which the statement is to be prepared,
and must contain such additional information as the Secretary of State may with the approval of the Treasury require to be provided for informing Parliament.
(3) The Comptroller and Auditor General must--
(a) examine, certify and report on each statement received by him as a result of this paragraph; and
(b) lay copies of each statement and of his report before each House of Parliament.").
Page 59, line 25, leave out ("section") and insert ("paragraph").
Page 59, line 38, leave out from beginning to end of line 14 on page 60 and insert--
("15.--(1) Except where sub-paragraph (7) gives the Chairman power to act on his own, any general function of the Commission must be performed through a group selected for the purpose by the Chairman.
(2) The group must consist of at least three persons one of whom may be the Chairman.
(3) In selecting the members of the group, the Chairman must comply with any requirement as to its constitution imposed by any enactment applying to specialist panel members.
(4) If the functions to be performed through the group relate to a newspaper merger reference, the group must, subject to sub-paragraph (5), consist of such reporting panel members as the Chairman may select.
(5) The Secretary of State may appoint one, two or three persons from the panel maintained under paragraph 22 to be members and, if he does so, the group--
(a) must include that member or those members; and
(b) if there are three such members, may (if the Chairman so decides) consist entirely of those members.
(6) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) to (5), a group must consist of reporting panel members or specialist panel members selected by the Chairman.
(7) While a group is being constituted to perform a particular general function of the Commission, the Chairman may--
(a) take such steps (falling within that general function) as he considers appropriate to facilitate the work of the group when it has been constituted; or
(b) exercise the power conferred by section 75(5) of the 1973 Act (setting aside references).").
Page 61, leave out lines 23 to 26 and insert--
("22. The Secretary of State must maintain a panel of persons whom he regards as suitable for selection as members of a group constituted in connection with a newspaper merger reference.").

19 Feb 1998 : Column 380

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to these amendments. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

7.45 p.m.

Clause 45 [Appealable decisions]:

[Amendments Nos. 144F to 144H not moved.]

Lord Haskel moved Amendment No. 145:


Page 22, leave out line 36.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Haskel moved Amendment No. 145A:


Page 22, line 40, at end insert (" 5(1)(c),").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 145B. They add to the list of appealable decisions in Clause 45(3). As my noble friend Lord Simon indicated in Committee, we have been reflecting on whether there are any omissions from this list, given our policy that all substantive decisions should be appealable. We have concluded that the list, as it stands at the moment, does not cover the directors' decisions under Clause 5(1)(c), Clause 4(3)(b) or Clause 4(5). These are respectively decisions to add additional conditions or obligations to individual exemptions where the director has reasonable grounds for believing that, first, there has been a material change in circumstances since he granted an individual exemption; secondly, as regards decisions as to the period that an individual exemption will last; and, thirdly, decisions as to the starting date of individual exemptions. All these decisions have substantive effect. So it is right that they should be appealable. Amendments Nos. 145A and 145B ensure that that is the case. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Haskel moved Amendment No. 145B:


Page 22, line 42, at end insert--
("( ) as to the period fixed under section 4(3)(b), or
( ) as to the date fixed under section 4(5),").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 145C to 146C not moved.]


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