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Lord Sewel: My Lords, I would gladly answer the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, as to whether these amendments deal with his reservations on and criticisms of Clause 87. However, I need to be reminded of what they were. Mixed public authorities are bodies which deal basically with reserved and devolved matters.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale moved Amendment No. 173D:


After Clause 87, insert the following new clause--

Queen's Printer for Scotland

(".--(1) There shall be a Queen's Printer for Scotland who shall--
(a) exercise the Queen's Printer functions in relation to Acts of the Scottish Parliament and subordinate legislation to which this section applies, and
(b) exercise any other functions conferred on her by this Act or any other enactment.

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(2) In subsection (1), "the Queen's Printer functions" means the printing functions in relation to Acts of Parliament and subordinate legislation of the Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament.
(3) The Queen's Printer for Scotland shall also on behalf of Her Majesty exercise Her rights and privileges in connection with--
(a) Crown copyright in Acts of the Scottish Parliament,
(b) Crown copyright in subordinate legislation to which this section applies,
(c) Crown copyright in any existing or future works (other than subordinate legislation) made in the exercise of a function which is exercisable by any office-holder in, or member of the staff of, the Scottish Administration (or would be so exercisable if the function had not ceased to exist),
(d) other copyright assigned to Her Majesty in works made in connection with the exercise of functions by any such office-holder or member.
(4) This section applies to subordinate legislation made, confirmed or approved--
(a) by a member of the Scottish Executive,
(b) by a Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved functions, or
(c) within devolved competence by a person other than a Minister of the Crown or such a member or authority.
(5) The Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament shall hold the office of Queen's Printer for Scotland.
(6) References in this Act to a Scottish public authority include the Queen's Printer for Scotland.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Government Amendments Nos. 173D and 226N are technical amendments, which deal with the printing of and copyright in Acts of the Scottish Parliament, devolved subordinate legislation and other works produced by or in connection with the exercise of functions of, the Scottish Administration.

Government Amendment No. 173D establishes the office of the Queen's Printer for Scotland. The Queen's Printer for Scotland will exercise printing functions in relation to Acts of the Scottish Parliament and devolved subordinate legislation. She will also exercise all Her Majesty's rights and privileges in respect of copyright in what might conveniently be described as "Scottish works". Effectively she will perform the same functions in relation to these works as are presently carried out by the Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament. In fact, to facilitate consistency and coherency of approach, in particular in relation to the publication of statute law throughout the United Kingdom, the holder of the office will be the holder of the office of Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, who also holds the office of Government Printer for Northern Ireland.

It is necessary to create the office of Queen's Printer for Scotland to ensure that the Scottish parliament and Scottish administration have an appropriate degree of control over the arrangements for the publication of Acts of the Scottish parliament and material produced by the Scottish administration. The Scottish parliament will be able to legislate to confer additional functions on the Queen's Printer for Scotland for example, in relation to the printing and publication of Scottish works. As a Scottish public authority, the parliament could legislate about the funding and receipts of the office and would be able to provide for the Scottish Ministers to give directions in connection with the exercise of her functions.

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Amendment No. 226N is a technical amendment to ensure that works produced by the Scottish administration are subject to Crown copyright in the same way as works produced by other officers and servants of the Crown. Paragraph 23 of Schedule 8 to the Bill makes a number of amendments to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Amendment No. 226N amends the definition of "the Crown" in Section 178 of the Act so that it includes the Crown in right of the Scottish administration. I beg to move.

The Earl of Mar and Kellie: My Lords, I wish to ask a question about subsection (5) of the new clause. Is not the subsection rather anti-competitive; and do the Government expect there to be any challenge over that issue?

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, I have a question which is linked to that of the noble Earl. The noble Baroness has explained--and one can detect it from the amendment--that the Queen's Printer for Scotland is the same person as the Queen's Printer for Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament. Who appoints the Queen's Printer for Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom Parliament? Will there be consultation in Scotland about the appointment before the appointment is made in view of the fact that that person is automatically the Queen's Printer for Scotland? What consultation will there be?

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, I share the concern expressed in the questions of my noble friend Lord Mar and Kellie and the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy. As the Minister may know, there is concern, which I share, about the overcharging or charging in respect of what we call parliamentary copyright as well as Crown copyright. As I understand it, this matter is being considered at the moment in a separate consultation in the context of the freedom of information legislation.

My question is whether the Scottish parliament will be the body that decides what is to be done if the monopoly which is being transferred under this legislation were to be abused so that the public were being charged for Acts of the Scottish parliament either at all or at a profit. Who will be the quality controller in the interests of the consumer to ensure that these copyrights are not abused against the wider public interest? Will it be this Parliament, or the Minister, or the Scottish parliament, or some other body?

3.15 p.m.

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: My Lords, as soon as I hear the Minister beginning her speaking note with the words "This is a technical amendment", my ears prick up. It is far from a technical amendment. It is a very important amendment. Unless a Queen's Printer was appointed to publish the Acts of the Scottish parliament and the subordinate legislation coming out of it, a question might well arise as to whether it was competent for the courts to have regard to them. So I welcome the amendment which I am sure has been brought forward for very good reasons.

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However, I have a number of questions to ask. First, can I be clear about what is intended by subsection (1)(b) of the new clause? It states:


    "There shall be a Queen's Printer for Scotland who shall...exercise any other functions conferred on her by this Act or any other enactment".
I understand by the reference to the word "her", even though there is a small "h", that the reference there is to Her Majesty. Subsection (1)(b) is very broadly drafted in that there is no limitation on what other functions could be conferred on Her Majesty. It may be that that matter merits further consideration.

Secondly, is there anything in the clause that would prevent the Queen's Printer for Scotland, whether or not he or she is also the Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, from contracting for the necessary printing and publication of the Acts of Parliament, the subordinate legislation and any other documents covered by Crown copyright, to be put into the private sector? In other words, is there anything in the clause that would make it necessary for all this work to be done by a government department?

Thirdly, I wish to ask what I believe to be a very important question. If the Scottish parliament wished from day one to ensure that all the primary legislation and subordinate legislation either coming out of the parliament or being made by the Scottish executive should be on a computer data base to be available to members of the public, is there anything to prevent that from happening, even though, unfortunately, we have not yet reached the stage where the statute law data base relating to the Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament is available to everyone who wishes to use it? That takes forward the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Lester, about people who seek access to documents covered by Crown copyright, and who are not lawyers, who can pay for copies themselves or gain access to computer data bases. I have in mind people who work for charities. They could spend a small fortune getting copies of Bills and because quite frequently, when a Bill is amended slightly, there is no reprint of the revised Bill, they may end up having to buy several large documents costing £10 or £15 each. That may be nothing to a lawyer in private practice but it is quite a lot to a small charity helping the mentally disabled or some other group in society which requires support.

Those are practical questions which arise out of the new clause. It was not possible for me to give any notice of my questions but I hope that we may receive some further information by letter during the course of the week.


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