Utilities Bill - continued        House of Lords

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SCHEDULE 2
 
  THE GAS AND ELECTRICITY CONSUMER COUNCIL
 
Membership of Council
     1. - (1) The Council shall consist of a chairman and such other members as may be appointed by the Secretary of State.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State shall consult the chairman before appointing any other member.
 
      (3) An appointment under this paragraph shall be for a term not exceeding five years.
 
      (4) In appointing persons under this paragraph the Secretary of State shall have regard to the desirability of including among the members one or more persons who-
 
 
    (a) have experience of work among, and the special needs of, disabled persons; or
 
    (b) have or have had a disability.
     2. - (1) A person holding office as chairman or other member may resign that office by giving notice in writing to the Secretary of State.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State may remove any person from office as chairman or other member on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.
 
      (3) Otherwise, the chairman and other members shall hold and vacate office as such in accordance with the terms of their respective appointments.
 
      (4) A previous appointment as chairman or other member does not affect a person's eligibility for appointment to either office.
 
 
Terms of appointment, remuneration, pensions etc.
     3. The Council shall pay to the chairman and other members of the Council such remuneration, and such travelling and other allowances, as the Secretary of State may determine.
 
     4. - (1) If the Secretary of State so determines in the case of any holder of the office of chairman or other member, the Council shall pay-
 
 
    (a) such pension, allowance or gratuity to or in respect of him, or
 
    (b) such contributions or payments towards provision for such a pension, allowance or gratuity,
       as the Secretary of State may determine.
 
      (2) If, when any person ceases to hold office as chairman or other member, the Secretary of State determines that there are special circumstances which make it right that he should receive compensation, the Council shall pay to him a sum by way of compensation of such amount as may be determined by the Secretary of State.
 
 
Staff
     5. - (1) The Council shall, with the approval of the Secretary of State, appoint a principal officer on such terms of employment as it may, with that approval, determine.
 
      (2) The Council may, with the approval of the Secretary of State as to numbers and terms of employment, appoint such other employees as it may determine.
 
      (3) The persons to whom section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972 (persons to or in respect of whom benefits may be provided by schemes under that section) applies shall include employees of the Council.
 
      (4) The Council shall pay to the Minister for the Civil Service at such times as he may direct, such sums as he may determine in respect of any increase attributable to sub-paragraph (3) in the sums payable out of money provided by Parliament under the Superannuation Act 1972.
 
 
Annual reports
     6. - (1) As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year the Council shall report to the Secretary of State on its activities during the year.
 
      (2) The annual report for each year shall include a report on the progress of the projects described in the Council's forward work programme for that year.
 
      (3) In making any report under this paragraph the Council shall not publish any information which relates to the affairs of a particular individual or body of persons (corporate or unincorporate) unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of sub-paragraph (4) applies to the information.
 
      (4) Information relating to a particular individual or body may be published if-
 
 
    (a) that individual or body has consented to the disclosure;
 
    (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.
      (5) Before deciding to disclose any information relating to a particular individual or body in pursuance of sub-paragraph (4)(c), the Council shall-
 
 
    (a) consult that person or body; and
 
    (b) have regard to any opinion expressed by the Authority as to the application of sub-paragraph (4)(c) to the information or as to the desirability or otherwise of its publication,
       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.
 
      (6) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of each annual report of the Council before each House of Parliament.
 
      (7) The Council shall send a copy of each annual report to the Authority and shall arrange for the report to be published in such manner as it considers appropriate.
 
 
Financial provisions and accounts
     7. It shall be the duty of the Council to comply with any notice given by the Secretary of State with the approval of the Treasury requiring it to perform duties of a financial nature specified in the notice.
 
     8. - (1) The Council shall prepare, in respect of each financial year, a statement of accounts giving a true and fair view of the state of affairs and the income and expenditure of the Council.
 
      (2) The statement of accounts shall comply with any requirement which the Secretary of State has, with the approval of the Treasury, notified to the Council.
 
      (3) The Council shall send each statement of accounts of the Council to the Secretary of State and to the Comptroller and Auditor General within such period after the end of the financial year to which it relates as the Secretary of State may specify by notice given to the Council.
 
      (4) The Comptroller and Auditor General shall-
 
 
    (a) examine, certify and report on each statement of accounts received by him under sub-paragraph (3), and
 
    (b) lay a copy of each such statement of accounts, and of his report on it, before each House of Parliament.
     9. The Secretary of State shall pay to the Council such sums as he thinks fit to enable it to meet its expenses.
 
 
Regional and other committees and sub-committees
     10. The Council may establish committees (in addition to the regional committees) and any regional or other committee of the Council may establish sub-committees.
 
     11. - (1) The Council shall not establish or abolish a regional committee, or alter the areas for which a regional committee is established, except with the approval of the Secretary of State.
 
      (2) If the Council proposes to do anything mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) it shall, after consulting the Secretary of State, give notice-
 
 
    (a) describing its proposals; and
 
    (b) specifying the time from the date of the notice (not being less than two months) within which representations may be made with respect to the proposals;
       and shall consider any representations that are duly made and not withdrawn.
 
      (3) A notice under sub-paragraph (2) shall be given by publishing it in such manner as the Council considers appropriate for bringing the proposals to the attention of those likely to be affected.
 
      (4) The Secretary of State shall not give his approval under sub-paragraph (1) until after the time specified in the notice under sub-paragraph (2).
 
     12. - (1) A regional or other committee of the Council shall consist of a chairman and such other members as the Council may determine.
 
      (2) The chairman and other members of a regional or other committee of the Council may be persons who are not members of the Council; and the members of a sub-committee may include persons who are not members of the relevant committee.
 
      (3) The Council shall consult the Secretary of State before appointing a person as chairman of a regional committee.
 
     13. The Council may pay to the chairman and other members of a regional or other committee of the Council, or of any sub-committee, such remuneration, and such travelling and other allowances, as the Secretary of State may determine.
 
     14. - (1) If the Secretary of State so determines in the case of any holder of the office of chairman or other member of a regional or other committee, or of any sub-committee, the Council shall pay-
 
 
    (a) such pension, allowance or gratuity to or in respect of him, or
 
    (b) such contributions or payments towards provision for such a pension, allowance or gratuity,
       as the Secretary of State may determine.
 
      (2) If, when any person ceases to hold office as chairman or other member of a regional or other committee, or of any sub-committee, the Secretary of State determines that there are special circumstances which make it right that he should receive compensation, the Council shall pay to him a sum by way of compensation of such amount as may be determined by the Secretary of State.
 
 
Performance of functions of the Council
     15. Anything authorised or required to be done by the Council may be done by any member or employee of the Council who, or any regional or other committee of the Council which, is authorised for the purpose by the Council (whether generally or specially).
 
     16. The validity of anything done by the Council is not affected by a vacancy among its members or by a defect in the appointment of a member.
 
 
Supplementary powers
     17. - (1) The Council shall have power to do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is incidental or conducive to, the performance of any of its functions.
 
      (2) That power includes, among other things, power to enter into agreements and to acquire and dispose of property.
 
      (3) The Council may make charges for facilities or services provided by it at the request of any person.
 
 
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