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Amendments to the Utilities Bill

Utilities Bill -
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lords

Here you can browse the Amendments to the Utilities Bill to be moved in Committee in the House of Lords.

  
Schedule 1
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 110, line 5, after ("two") insert ("and no more than five") 
     Page 110, line 6, at end insert ("after consultation with the Trade and Industry Committee of the House of Commons") 
     Page 110, line 7, after ("chairman") insert ("and the Trade and Industry Committee of the House of Commons") 
     Page 110, line 8, at end insert--
 
    ("(3)  Appointments to the Authority shall be made in accordance with criteria which shall be published by the Secretary of State prior to the coming into force of this paragraph.
 
    (4)  Such criteria referred to in sub-paragraph (3) above shall include the requirement for at least one person with relevant experience of the gas and electricity industries.")
 
     Page 110, line 37, after ("Service") insert ("and the Treasury") 
  
Schedule 2
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
     Page 113, line 7, leave out paragraph (b) and insert--
    ("(b)  have regard to any opinion expressed by the "information publication arbiter" as to the application of subsection (5)(c) to the information;
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers;
and paragraph (b) applies whether the opinion is given in relation to the information itself or to information of a description which applies to that information.
 
    (5A)  In carrying out its functions the Council has a general duty to publish information when it is in the consumer interest to do so.
 
    (5B)  Before publishing such information the Council must consider whether the consumer interest is outweighed by any consideration of confidentiality attached to it.")
 
  
Clause 6
 
  
BY THE BARONESS WILCOX
 
     Page 4, leave out lines 10 to 20 and insert--
 
    ("(1)  The Authority shall publish advice and information which will promote the interests of consumers in relation to gas conveyed through pipes, and may publish that advice or information in such manner as it thinks fit.
 
    (2)  In particular, it shall secure that records of its decisions, and the information on which they are based, are kept and made available with a view to enabling members of the public to make informed judgements about the way in which it is carrying out its functions.
 
    (2A)  In publishing advice or information under this section, the Authority must consider whether the publication of the advice or information in question would or might seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of a particular individual or body of persons (corporate or unincorporate), and if that is outweighed by the public interest in publishing that advice or information.")
 
     Page 4, leave out lines 27 to 35 and insert--
 
    ("(1)  The Authority shall publish advice and information which will promote the interests of consumers in relation to electricity conveyed by distribution systems, and may publish that advice or information in such manner as it thinks fit.
 
    (1A)  In particular, it shall secure that records of its decisions, and the information on which they are based, are kept and made available with a view to enabling members of the public to make informed judgements about the way in which it is carrying out its functions.
 
    (2)  In publishing advice or information under this section, the Authority must consider whether the publication of the advice or information in question would or might seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of a particular individual or body of persons (corporate or unincorporate), and if that is outweighed by the public interest in publishing that advice or information.")
 
  
After Clause 8
 
  
BY THE BARONESS WILCOX
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .--(1)  A person who is not a licence holder may appeal to the Authority to withdraw or vary a decision (other than that in section 47 of the Competition Act 1998).
 
    (2)  In this section "decision" means--
    (a)  the introduction of a new licence condition;
    (b)  the modification of an existing licence condition;
    (c)  any other decision prescribed by the Secretary of State in regulations made under this section.
    (3)  The application must--
    (a)  be made in writing, within such period as may be specified in guidance issued by the Secretary of State under subsection (9);
    (b)  give the applicant's reasons for considering that the relevant decision should be withdrawn or (as the case may be) varied.
    (4)  The Authority may decide--
    (a)  that the applicant does not have a sufficient interest in the relevant decision;
    (b)  that, in the case of an applicant claiming to represent persons who have such an interest, the applicant does not represent such persons, or
    (c)  that the persons represented by the applicant do not have such an interest.
    (5)  The Authority, having considered the application, may--
    (a)  withdraw or vary the relevant decision;
    (b)  decide that sufficient reasons have not been shown why it should withdraw or vary the relevant decision.
    (6)  Where a decision has been made under subsections (4) or (5), the Authority must notify the applicant of its decision, give reasons for that decision and make them public.
 
    (7)  The applicant may appeal to the Competition Commission against a decision of the Authority notified under subsection (4) or (5).
 
    (8)  The making of an application does not suspend the effect of the relevant decision.
 
    (9)  The Secretary of State shall issue guidance about the procedures for applicants for making an appeal under this section.")
Appeal to Authority by non-licence holders.
  
Clause 9
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 6, line 17, leave out (", having regard") and insert ("and, subject to the principal objective, the Secretary of State and the Authority shall carry out those functions in the manner which he or it considers is best calculated") 
     Page 6, line 19, leave out ("the need to") 
     Page 6, line 22, leave out ("the need to") 
  
Clause 13
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 9, line 24, leave out (", having regard") and insert ("and, subject to the principal objective, the Secretary of State and the Authority shall carry out those functions in the manner which he or it considers is best calculated") 
     Page 9, line 26, leave out ("the need to") 
     Page 9, line 28, leave out ("the need to") 
     Page 9, line 39, leave out from beginning to end of line 7 on page 10 and insert--
 
    ("(4)  The Secretary of State or the Authority shall, in carrying out any function under this Part, ensure that the interests of consumers in relation to gas conveyed through pipes (within the meaning of the Gas Act 1986) are not disadvantaged.")
 
  
Clause 10
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 7, line 24, leave out ("from time to time") and insert ("at least every five years and on a long-term basis") 
     Page 7, line 27, at end insert--
 
    ("(1A)  In preparing guidance under this section, the Secretary of State shall ensure that such guidance does not impose significant financial implications for consumers.")
 
  
Clause 14
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 10, line 33, leave out ("from time to time") and insert ("at least every five years and on a long-term basis") 
     Page 10, line 36, at end insert--
 
    ("(1A)  In preparing guidance under this section, the Secretary of State shall ensure that such guidance does not impose significant financial implications for consumers.")
 
  
Clause 11
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 8, line 33, at end insert--
 
    ("(4)  It shall also be the duty of the Authority--
    (a)  in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive, to prepare, and from time to time revise, a document setting out such means as may, with the approval of the Health and Safety Commission, be agreed between the Authority and that Executive for securing co-operation and the exchange of information between them; and
    (b)  without prejudice to the effect or operation of any relevant statutory provisions (within the meaning of Part I of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974) to exercise the functions assigned to him by or under this Part in accordance with any agreement contained in that document.
    (5)  As soon as practicable after agreement is reached for the purposes of--
    (a)  the preparation of a document in accordance with subsection (4) above, or
    (b)  any revision of a document prepared in accordance with that subsection,
the Director shall send a copy of the document or, as the case may be, of the revised version of it to the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State shall lay the copy before each House of Parliament.")
 
  
Clause 19
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
     Page 14, line 17, leave out paragraph (b) and insert--
    ("(b)  have regard to any opinion expressed by the information publication arbiter as to the application of subsection (3)(c) to the information;
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers.")
 
     Page 14, line 22, at end insert--
 
    ("(4A)  In carrying out its functions the Council has a general duty to publish information when it is in the consumer interest to do so.
 
    (4B)  Before publishing such information the Council must consider whether the consumer interest is outweighed by any consideration of confidentiality attached to it.")
 
  
Clause 20
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
     Page 14, line 39, leave out subsection (3) 
  
Clause 21
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
     Page 16, line 11, leave out paragraph (b) and insert--
    ("(b)  have regard to any opinion expressed by the information publication arbiter as to the application of subsection (3)(c) to the information;
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers.")
 
     Page 16, line 14, at end insert--
 
    ("(4A)  In carrying out its functions the Council has a general duty to publish information when it is in the consumer interest to do so.
 
    (4B)  Before publishing such information the Council must consider whether the consumer interest is outweighed by any consideration of confidentiality attached to it.")
 
  
Clause 23
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
     Page 20, leave out lines 27 to 30 and insert--
    ("(b)  have regard to any opinion expressed by the information publication arbiter as to the application of subsection (7)(c) to the information;
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers.")
 
     Page 20, line 33, at end insert--
 
    ("(9)  In carrying out its functions the Council has a general duty to publish information when it is in the consumer interest to do so.
 
    (10)  Before publishing such information the Council must consider whether the consumer interest is outweighed by any consideration of confidentiality attached to it.")
 
     Page 21, leave out lines 23 to 26 and insert--
    ("(b)  have regard to any opinion expressed by the "information publication arbiter" as to the application of subsection (5)(c) to the information;
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers.")
 
     Page 21, line 29, at end insert--
 
    ("(7)  In carrying out its functions the Council has a general duty to publish information when it is in the consumer interest to do so.
 
    (8)  Before publishing such information the Council must consider whether the consumer interest is outweighed by any consideration of confidentiality attached to it.")
 
  
Clause 25
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
     Page 22, line 37, leave out paragraph (b) and insert--
    ("(b)  have regard to any opinion expressed by the "information publication arbiter" as to the application of subsection (3)(c) to the information;
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers.")
 
     Page 22, line 42, at end insert--
 
    ("(4A)  In carrying out its functions the Council has a general duty to publish information when it is in the consumer interest to do so.
 
    (4B)  Before publishing such information the Council must consider whether the consumer interest is outweighed by any consideration of confidentiality attached to it.")
 
  
After Clause 26
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .--(1)  The Secretary of State may make regulations prescribing the appropriate body to consider whether disclosure or publication of information will "seriously and prejudicially affect" the interests of the individual or body which it applies to in relation to the Council exercising its function of information publication or disclosure under section 19, 21 or 25, paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 or under section 33 of the 1986 Act or section 46A of the 1989 Act (set out in section 23).
 
    (2)  This body shall be known as the "information publication arbiter".")
Disclosure of information: arbiter.
  
Clause 75
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 73, line 32, leave out subsection (1) 
     Page 73, line 38, leave out subsection (3) 
     Page 74, line 1, leave out subsection (4) 
     Page 74, line 8, leave out subsection (5) 
     Page 74, line 11, leave out subsection (6) 
  
Clause 76
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 74, line 34, at end insert ("having regard to any guidelines drawn up by the Authority from time to time in consultation with gas transporters and to the provisions of section 7(8)(b)") 
  
Clause 77
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 74, line 41, leave out subsections (1) to (3) 
  
Clause 79
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 76, line 11, leave out ("(2)(b)") and insert ("(2)") 
  
Clause 107
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
     Page 109, line 20, leave out ("Utilities") and insert ("Gas and Electricity") 
 
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Prepared 8 June 2000