Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Twenty-Third Report


TWENTY-THIRD REPORT


17 June 1998




  By the Select Committee appointed to report whether the provisions of any bill inappropriately delegate legislative power, or whether they subject the exercise of legislative power to an inappropriate degree of parliamentary scrutiny; to report on documents laid before Parliament under section 3(3) of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 and on draft orders laid under section 1(4) of that Act; and to perform, in respect of such documents and orders, the functions performed in respect of other instruments by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.

PROPOSAL FOR THE DRAFT DEREGULATION (TAXIS AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES) ORDER 1998

  1.  The Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 provides a two-stage process for the parliamentary scrutiny of deregulation orders. A document containing the proposal is laid under section 3(3) of the Act in the form of a draft of the order, together with explanatory material; and we and the Commons equivalent committee have 60 days in which to consider and report on it. The Government then lay under section 1(4) of the Act a draft order, either in its original form or amended to take account of the two committees' views, for approval by resolution of each House. In the Lords a motion to approve a draft order can only be moved after we have made a second report on it.[1]

  2.  The proposal for the draft Deregulation (Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles) Order was laid before Parliament under section 3(3) of the 1994 Act on 9th December 1997. The proposal related to two separate issues linked only by their connection with taxis and private hire vehicles. These were to:

    (i)  permit the use of licensed private hire vehicles as well as taxis and buses when train services have been discontinued;

    (ii)  recognise driving licences issued in Northern Ireland as meeting part of the qualifications required for a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle driver in England and Wales.

  3.  We reported on the proposal in our 12th report of this session, dated 4th February 1998.[2] Our report concluded:

    "The Committee is satisfied that the Northern Ireland part of the proposal for the Draft Deregulation (Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles) Order 1998 meets the requirements of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 and is appropriate to be made under it. We accept the Government's decision to amend the proposal to delete the part relating to substitute train services, and consider that this decision, which was taken following evidence submitted to this Committee, shows that consultation on this part of the proposal was inadequate."

  4.  The draft Order laid before the House on 8th June 1998 omits the part of the proposal relating to the use of licensed private hire vehicles as substitutes for passenger train services. Neither we nor the House of Commons Deregulation Committee recommended any amendment to the part of the order relating to Northern Ireland driving licences, and none has been made. The Committee therefore reports that the draft order is now in a form satisfactory to be submitted to the House for affirmative resolution.

  5.  We are required by our terms of reference to perform, in respect of documents and orders laid under section 1(4) of the 1994 Act, the functions performed in respect of other instruments by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. The Committee has concluded that there is nothing in the draft order which the Joint Committee would have needed to draw to the attention of each House. [3]

Request for evidence

  The Committee requests submissions in writing no later than Monday 29 June on the following proposal for a draft deregulation order laid before the House on the date shown.

Draft Deregulation (Weights and Measures) Order 1998 (1 June)

  The Committee requests submissions in writing no later than Monday 6 July on the following proposal for a draft deregulation order laid before the House on the date shown.

Draft Deregulation (Pipe-lines) Order 1998 (15 June)

  Copies of the proposals and accompanying Explanatory Memoranda are available to Peers from the Printed Paper Office.


1   Standing Order 70(1)(b). Back

2   HL Paper 67. Back

3   This report is also published on the Internet at the House of Lords Select Committees Home Page (http://www.parliament.uk), where further information about the work of the Committee is also available. Back


 
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