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

back to previous amendments
 
  
Clause 22
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
95     Page 16, line 17, leave out from ("section") to ("to") and insert ("32 of the 1986 Act (duty of Council") 
96     Page 16, line 19, leave out ("31") and insert ("32") 
  
BY THE LORD JENKIN OF RODING
 
97     Page 17, leave out lines 10 to 23 and insert--
 
    ("(6)  Where it appears to the Council to be appropriate to do so with a view to reaching a satisfactory resolution of a complaint referred to it under this section, the Council shall--
    (a)  make representations on behalf of the complainant to the relevant supplier about anything to which the complaint relates; and
    (b)  where, in the Council's opinion, taking into account the representations made in paragraph (a) above, the relevant supplier has failed to take reasonable steps to reach a resolution which in the Council's opinion, is satisfactory, the Council may direct the supplier to pay to the complainant an amount, not exceeding £5000, in respect of any failure, loss, damage or inconvenience arising from that complaint.
Any award made under this subsection will be without prejudice to any statutory entitlement or any action, including the payment of additional compensation, that the supplier may decide to take.
 
    (7)  If a relevant supplier on which an award of compensation under subsection (6)(b) has been imposed is aggrieved by--
    (a)  the imposition of the award, or
    (b)  the amount of the award,
the supplier may appeal to the Authority under this section.
 
    (7A) On any appeal under subsection (7) the Authority shall--
    (a)  consider the Council's reasons for directing the award of compensation;
    (b)  consider any representations made by the supplier about the award; and
    (c)  determine whether the Council has acted reasonably in reaching its decision to direct the award of compensation under subsection (6)(b).
    (7B)  If the Authority determines under subsection (7A)(c) above that the Council has acted reasonably in directing the award of compensation it may nevertheless substitute an award of such lesser or greater amount not exceeding £5000 as it considers appropriate having regard to all the circumstances of the case.")
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
98     Page 17, line 24, leave out from beginning to ("without") in line 27 and insert ("No report under subsection (7) or information about a complaint referred to the Council under this section from which the complainant may be identified, shall be published or disclosed by the Council or the Authority in the exercise of any power under the Utilities Act 2000 or this Act,") 
  
BY THE LORD JENKIN OF RODING
 
99     Page 18, line 41, leave out from beginning to end of line 3 on page 19 and insert--
 
    ("(6)  Where it appears to the Council to be appropriate to do so with a view to reaching a satisfactory resolution of a complaint referred to it under this section, the Council shall--
    (a)  make representations on behalf of the complainant to the relevant supplier about anything to which the complaint relates; and
    (b)  where, in the Council's opinion, taking into account the representations made in paragraph (a) above, the relevant supplier has failed to take reasonable steps to reach a resolution which in the Council's opinion, is satisfactory, the Council may direct the supplier to pay to the complainant an amount, not exceeding £5000, in respect of any failure, loss, damage or inconvenience arising from that complaint.
Any award made under this subsection will be without prejudice to any statutory entitlement or any action, including the payment of additional compensation, that the supplier may decide to take.
 
    (7)  If a relevant supplier on which an award of compensation under subsection (6)(b) has been imposed is aggrieved by--
    (a)  the imposition of the award; or
    (b)  the amount of the award,
the supplier may appeal to the Authority under this section.
 
    (7A)  On any appeal under subsection (7) the Authority shall--
    (a)  consider the Council's reasons for directing the award of compensation;
    (b)  consider any representations made by the supplier about the award; and
    (c)  determine whether the Council has acted reasonably in reaching its decision to direct the award of compensation under subsection (6)(b).
    (7B)  If the Authority determines under subsection (7A)(c) above that the Council has acted reasonably in directing the award of compensation it may nevertheless substitute an award of such lesser or greater amount not exceeding £5000 as it considers appropriate having regard to all the circumstances of the case.")
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
100     Page 19, line 4, leave out from beginning to ("without") in line 7 and insert ("No report under subsection (7), or information about a complaint referred to the Council under this section from which the complainant may be identified, shall be published or disclosed by the Council or the Authority in the exercise of any power under the Utilities Act 2000 or this Act,") 
101     Page 19, line 25, leave out ("32") and insert ("31") 
  
Clause 23
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
102     Page 19, line 37, leave out second ("gas") and insert ("authorised") 
103     Page 19, line 40, leave out ("gas") and insert ("authorised") 
104     Page 20, line 9, leave out from ("unincorporate)") to end of line 14 and insert--
    ("(a)  shall not be included in a report which is to be sent to any person under subsection (5)(a), unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (7) applies; and
    (b)  shall be excluded from any such report which is to be published under subsection (5)(b), unless one or more or paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (7A) applies.
    (7)  Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be sent under subsection (5)(a) if--")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
105*     Page 20, line 11, leave out ("(c)") and insert ("(d)") 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
106     Page 20, line 19, leave out ("publication") and insert ("disclosure") 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
107*     Page 20, line 22, at end insert ("; or
    (d)  it is not information which is exempt from disclosure or publication by virtue of section (Exempt information) of the Utilities Act 2000")
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
108     Page 20, line 22, at end insert--
 
    (7A)  Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be published under subsection (5)(b) if--
    (a)  that individual or body has consented to the publication;
    (b)  it is information that is available to the public from some other source; or
    (c)  it is not information the publication of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual or body.")
 
109     Page 20, line 25, after ("(7)(c)") insert ("or (7A)(c)") 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
110*     Page 20, line 25, after ("(7)(c)") insert ("or (d)") 
111*     Page 20, line 26, after ("body") insert (", giving that individual or body not less than 14 days to comment on the proposal to include that information") 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
112     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; and
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers.")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
113*     Page 20, line 27, leave out ("have regard to any") and insert ("seek and have regard to the") 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
114     Page 20, line 28, at end insert ("or (7A)(c)") 
115     Page 20, line 33, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  In this section "authorised" has the same meaning as in section 31."")
 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
116     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."")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
117*     Page 20, line 33, at end insert--
 
    ("(  )  If any dispute arises between the Council and an individual or body on whether the disclosure or publication of information by the Council in the report would or might be contrary to subsection (7)(c) or (d), the Council shall, before disclosing that information, refer the dispute for determination by the Information Commissioner."")
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
118     Page 21, line 5, leave out from ("unincorporate)") to end of line 10 and insert--
    ("(a)  shall not be included in a report which is to be sent to any person under subsection (3)(a), unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (5) applies; and
    (b)  shall be excluded from any such report which is to be published under subsection (3)(b), unless one or more or paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (5A) applies.
    (7)  Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be sent under subsection (3)(a) if--")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
119*     Page 21, line 7, leave out ("(c)") and insert ("(d)") 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
120     Page 21, line 15, leave out ("publication") and insert ("disclosure") 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
121*     Page 21, line 18, at end insert ("; or
    (d)  it is not information which is exempt from disclosure or publication by virtue of section (Exempt information) of the Utilities Act 2000")
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
122     Page 21, line 18, at end insert--
 
    (5A)  Information relating to a particular individual or body may be included in a report to be published under subsection (3)(b) if--
    (a)  that individual or body has consented to the publication;
    (b)  it is information that is available to the public from some other source; or
    (c)  it is not information the publication of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of that individual or body.")
 
123     Page 21, line 21, after ("(5)(c)") insert ("or (5A)(c)") 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
124*     Page 21, line 21, after ("(5)(c)") insert ("or (d)") 
125*     Page 21, line 22, after ("body") insert (",  giving that individual or body not less than 14 days to comment on the proposal to include that information") 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
126     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; and
    (c)  consider whether publication of the information in question is in the interests of consumers.")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
127*     Page 21, line 23, leave out ("have regard to any") and insert ("seek and have regard to the") 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
128     Page 21, line 24, at end insert ("or (5A)(c)") 
  
BY THE LORD EZRA
 
129     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."")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
130*     Page 21, line 29, at end insert--
 
    ("(7)  If any dispute arises between the Council and an individual or body on whether the disclosure or publication of information by the Council in the report would or might be contrary to subsection (5)(c) or (d), the Council shall, before disclosing or publishing that information, refer the dispute for determination by the Information Commissioner."")
 
  
After Clause 23
 
  
BY THE LORD JENKIN OF RODING
 
131     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     (".--(1)  The Council shall have the function of assessing the extent to which the relevant supplier has followed good practice in--
    (a)  processing any contacts with, and complaints from, consumers;
    (b)  the recovery of debt from consumers;
    (c)  the delivery of other customer services.
    (2)  For the purposes set out in subsection (1) the Council may inspect at the premises of any relevant supplier, any data, information or records held by that supplier and obtain from anyone employed by, or acting on behalf of the supplier, such further information or explanation as it may reasonably require for those purposes.
 
    (3)  The Council may report to the Authority on the assessments made.
 
    (4)  In this section "good practice" means such practice as appears to the Council to be desirable having regard to the interests of consumers and includes (but is not limited to) compliance with the requirements of this Act.")
Duty to assess good practice.
  
Clause 24
 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
132     Page 21, line 30, leave out from beginning to ("under") in line 39 and insert ("(1)  The Council may direct--
    (a)  the Authority; or
    (b)  the holder of a gas licence or an electricity licence,
to supply to it, in such form as it may reasonably specify, such information specified or described in the direction as it may require for the purpose of exercising its functions.
 
    (2)  A person to whom a direction under this section is given shall comply with it as soon as is reasonably practicable.
 
    (3)  Before giving a direction")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
133*     Page 21, line 31, at end insert (",  but nothing in this section shall be taken to permit the Authority to supply to the Council information which is subject to the restrictions on disclosure contained in section 55 of the Competition Act 1998") 
  
BY THE LORD McINTOSH OF HARINGEY
 
134     Page 21, line 43, leave out subsections (6) to (11) and insert--
 
    ("(6)  If the Authority fails to comply with a direction under this section it shall, if so required by the Council, give notice to the Council of the reasons for its failure.")
 
  
BY THE LORD KINGSLAND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
 
135*     Page 22, line 19, at end insert--
 
    ("(12)  Neither the Authority nor any licence holder shall be required by virtue of this section or any regulations made under it to supply any information which the Authority or that licence holder could not be compelled to give in evidence in civil proceedings in the High Court or, in Scotland, the Court of Session.")
 
 
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