Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Special Report



ANNEX

EXTRACT FROM THE MEMORANDUM BY THE GOVERNMENT, PRINTED IN THE FIRST REPORT FROM THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE SCRUTINY OF DELEGATED POWERS, 1992-1993

METHOD OF WORK

2.1  The Committee proposes to take evidence in writing on each Bill from the relevant Government Department. Subject to the further views or requests of the Committee, the Government proposes that such memoranda should give a concise account of the Bill:

    (i)  Identifying provisions for delegated legislation within the Bill.

    (ii)  Giving a brief description or statement of their purpose.

    (iii)  Describing briefly why the matter has been left to delegated legislation.

    (iv)  Explaining the procedure selected for the exercise of each power and why.

2.2  The Government's general intention would be to produce such memoranda for all Government Bills (except Finance and Money Bills which the House of Lords does not amend) when each Bill is introduced into the House of Lords, or as soon as practicable thereafter. Even if it were considered appropriate within the conventions of comity between the Houses the Government does not consider that it would in general be satisfactory for the House of Lords to begin taking evidence on a Bill which was still subject to consideration in the Commons, not least because of the possibility of amendment during Commons' consideration. It would be undesirable for the new procedure to exclude any possibility of amendments introducing delegated powers at later stages in the House of Lords, although this should not, of course, be used as a manoeuvre to avoid scrutiny by the Committee. The procedure would not apply to bills passed with exceptional speed. Memoranda would be placed in the Library of both Houses for the information of the Commons.

INFORMING DEBATE

3.1  The Government agrees that the primary purpose of the Committee's reports, as the Committee will have no powers of amendment, should be to inform debate in the House. It will therefore be desirable for the Committee to produce reports by Committee Stage, as envisaged in the Procedure Committee's report of 22 June. The Committee Stage will then provide the main opportunity for considering what action to take if the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee has raised questions on a Bill. The Government hopes, as the Lord Chancellor observed during debate on the Jellicoe report, that when the Committee has considered and approved provision in Bills for delegated powers, those powers should not be the subject of further debate by members of the House during the Bill's subsequent passage, so that work already carried out is not duplicated.


 
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