Utilities Bill - continued        House of Lords

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  PART VI
  MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTARY
 
Miscellaneous
Specialist members of the Competition Commission.     103. - (1) The Secretary of State shall appoint not less than six members of the Competition Commission ("the Commission") for the purpose of the exercise by the Commission of any function under or by virtue of-
 
 
    "(a) section 24, 26A or 41E of the 1986 Act; or
 
    (b) section 12, 14A or 56C of the 1989 Act.
      (2) In selecting a group to perform any function of the Commission under or by virtue of any provision mentioned in subsection (1), the chairman of the Commission shall select one or more of the members appointed under subsection (1) to be members of the group.
 
      (3) In paragraph 2(1)(d) of Schedule 7 to the Competition Act 1998 (membership of Commission to include specialist members appointed under gas and electricity legislation), for sub-paragraph (ii) there is substituted-
 
      "(ii) section 103 of the Utilities Act 2000;".
      (4) Section 12(9) and (9A) of the 1989 Act (which are superseded by this section) shall cease to have effect.
 
      (5) The persons who are, immediately before the commencement of this section, members of the Competition Commission by virtue of appointments made under section 12(9) of the 1989 Act shall continue as members of the Commission and their appointments shall be treated as having been made under this section.
 
      (6) Nothing in this section affects any group which has been selected, before the commencement of this section, to perform functions of the Commission in relation to any reference under or by virtue of section 24 of the 1986 Act or section 12 of the 1989 Act.
 
General restrictions on disclosure of information.     104. - (1) Information which-
 
 
    (a) has been obtained under or by virtue of the provisions of this Act, Part I of the 1986 Act or Part I of the 1989 Act; and
 
    (b) relates to the affairs of any individual or to any particular business,
       shall not be disclosed during the lifetime of the individual or so long as the business continues to be carried on, except as provided below.
 
      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure made with the consent of the individual or the person for the time being carrying on the business.
 
      (3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure if-
 
 
    (a) it is made for the purpose of facilitating the performance of any functions of the Secretary of State, the Authority, the Council or the Competition Commission under the 1986 Act, the 1989 Act or this Act;
 
    (b) it is required by a notice under section 38(1A) of the 1986 Act or section 28(2A) of the 1989 Act;
 
    (c) it is made by a licence holder and is required to be made by a condition of his licence; or
 
    (d) it is made by one licence holder to another and is required by that other licence holder for purposes connected with the carrying on of relevant activities.
      (4) Subsection (1) does not apply to any disclosure of information made-
 
 
    (a) for the purpose of facilitating the performance by a person or body mentioned in subsection (5) of any function under an Act or instrument specified in subsection (6);
 
    (b) for the purpose of facilitating the performance by the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Health and Safety Commission or the Health and Safety Executive of any of his or its functions;
 
    (c) for the purpose of facilitating the exercise by the Secretary of State of any power conferred by the Financial Services Act 1986 or by the enactments relating to companies, insurance companies or insolvency;
 
    (d) for the purpose of facilitating the performance of the functions of an inspector appointed under the enactments relating to companies;
 
    (e) for the purpose of facilitating the performance by an official receiver of his functions under the enactments relating to insolvency or by a recognised professional body for the purposes of section 391 of the Insolvency Act 1986 of its functions as such a body;
 
    (f) in connection with the investigation of any criminal offence or for the purposes of any criminal proceedings;
 
    (g) for the purposes of any civil proceedings brought under or by virtue of the 1986 Act, the 1989 Act, this Act or any Act or instrument specified in subsection (6) below; or
 
    (h) in pursuance of a Community obligation.
      (5) The persons and bodies specified for the purposes of subsection (4)(a) are-
 
 
    (a) a Minister of the Crown;
 
    (b) the Competition Commission;
 
    (c) the Director General of Fair Trading;
 
    (d) the Director General of Telecommunications;
 
    (e) the Director General of Water Services;
 
    (f) the Director General of Electricity Supply for Northern Ireland;
 
    (g) the Director General of Gas for Northern Ireland;
 
    (h) the Rail Regulator;
 
    (i) the Civil Aviation Authority;
 
    (j) the Insolvency Practitioners Tribunal;
 
    (k) the Coal Authority; and
 
    (l) a local weights and measures authority in Great Britain.
      (6) The Acts and instruments specified for the purposes of subsection (4)(a) and (g) are-
 
 
    (a) the Trade Descriptions Act 1968;
 
    (b) the Fair Trading Act 1973;
 
    (c) the Consumer Credit Act 1974;
 
    (d) the Estate Agents Act 1979;
 
    (e) the Competition Act 1980;
 
    (f) the National Audit Act 1983;
 
    (g) the Telecommunications Act 1984;
 
    (h) the Airports Act 1986;
 
    (i) the Insolvency Act 1986;
 
    (j) the Consumer Protection Act 1987;
 
    (k) the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988;
 
    (l) the Water Act 1989, the Water Industry Act 1991 or any of the other consolidation Acts (within the meaning of section 206 of the Water Industry Act 1991);
 
    (m) the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992
 
    (n) the Railways Act 1993;
 
    (o) the Coal Industry Act 1994;
 
    (p) the Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996;
 
    (q) the Competition Act 1998.
      (7) The Secretary of State may by order modify subsection (3), (4), (5) or (6).
 
      (8) Nothing in subsection (1) above is to be construed either as limiting the matters which may be-
 
 
    (a) published under section 33DA or 35 of the 1986 Act or section 42AA or 48 of the 1989 Act;
 
    (b) made public by the Authority as part of a notice under section 26; or
 
    (c) included in, or made public as part of, a report of the Authority, the Council or the Competition Commission under any provision of this Act, Part I of the 1986 Act or Part I of the 1989 Act;
       or as applying to information which has been so published or has been made public as part of such a notice or such a report.
 
      (9) A person who discloses any information in contravention of this section is guilty of an offence and liable-
 
 
    (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;
 
    (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.
      (10) In this section-
 
 
    "licence holder" means the holder of a gas licence or an electricity licence; and
 
    "relevant activities", in relation to a licence holder means activities he is authorised by his licence to carry on (including, in the case of a gas transporter, the activities mentioned in section 7(1)(b) and (c) of the 1986 Act).
      (11) Information obtained by the Authority in the exercise of functions which are exercisable concurrently with the Director General of Fair Trading under Part I of the Competition Act 1998 is subject to sections 55 and 56 of that Act (disclosure) and not to subsections (1) to (10) of this section.
 
      (12) The power to make an order under subsection (7) is exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
 
Supplementary
Interpretation.     105. - (1) In this Act-
 
 
    "Authority" means the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority;
 
    "Council" means the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council;
 
    "electricity licence" means a licence under section 6 of the 1989 Act;
 
    "gas licence" means a licence under section 7 or 7A of the 1986 Act;
 
    "the 1986 Act" means the Gas Act 1986;
 
    "the 1989 Act" means the Electricity Act 1989.
      (2) Expressions used in this Act, as regards matters relating to gas, and in Part I of the 1986 Act have, unless the context otherwise requires, the same meaning as in that Part of that Act.
 
      (3) Expressions used in this Act, as regards matters relating to electricity, and in Part I of the 1989 Act have, unless the context otherwise requires, the same meaning as in that Part of that Act.
 
Financial provisions.     106. There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament-
 
 
    (a) any expenditure incurred by the Authority by virtue of this Act;
 
    (b) any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State by virtue of this Act;
 
    (c) any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable out of money so provided under any other Act.
Amendments, transitional provisions and repeals.     107. Schedule 6 (minor and consequential amendments), Schedule 7 (transitional provisions and savings) and Schedule 8 (repeals) have effect.
 
Power to make transitional provision etc.     108. - (1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make such transitional and consequential provisions and such savings as he considers necessary or expedient in preparation for, or in connection with, or in consequence of-
 
 
    (a) the coming into force of any provision of this Act; or
 
    (b) the operation of any enactment repealed or amended by a provision of this Act during any period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in force.
      (2) Such regulations may make modifications of any enactment (including an enactment contained in this Act).
 
      (3) The power of the Secretary of State to make regulations under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
Short title, commencement and extent.     109. - (1) This Act may be cited as the Utilities Act 2000.
 
      (2) This Act (apart from this section and section 68) shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint; and different days may be appointed for different purposes.
 
      (3) An order under subsection (2) may contain transitional provisions and savings relating to the provisions being brought into force by the order.
 
      (4) Any amendment or repeal made by this Act has the same extent as the enactment being amended or repealed.
 
      (5) Subject to subsection (4), this Act does not extend to Northern Ireland."
 
 
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Prepared 22 June 2000