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Utilities Bill
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

TO

Provide for the establishment and functions of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority and the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council; to amend the legislation regulating the gas and electricity industries; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

  PART I
  NEW REGULATORY ARRANGEMENTS
Gas and Electricity Markets Authority.     1. - (1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (in this Act referred to as "the Authority") for the purpose of carrying out-
 
 
    (a) functions transferred to the Authority from the Director General of Gas Supply and the Director General of Electricity Supply; and
 
    (b) the other functions of the Authority under this Act.
      (2) The functions of the Authority are performed on behalf of the Crown.
 
      (3) The offices of Director General of Gas Supply and Director General of Electricity Supply are abolished.
 
      (4) Schedule 1 has effect with respect to the Authority.
 
Gas and Electricity Consumer Council.     2. - (1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council (in this Act referred to as "the Council") for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Council under this Act.
 
      (2) The Council shall not be regarded as a servant or agent of the Crown or as enjoying any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown.
 
      (3) The Gas Consumers' Council established under section 2 of the Gas Act 1986 (in this Act referred to as "the 1986 Act") and the consumers' committees established under section 2 of the Electricity Act 1989 (in this Act referred to as "the 1989 Act") are abolished.
 
      (4) Schedule 2 has effect with respect to the Council.
 
Transfer to Authority and Council of functions, property etc.     3. - (1) The functions of the Director General of Gas Supply and the Director General of Electricity Supply ("the Directors") are transferred to the Authority.
 
      (2) Any enactment which-
 
 
    (a) relates to a function of either of the Directors; and
 
    (b) is in force immediately before the transfer by subsection (1) of that function,
       shall have effect after the transfer, so far as necessary for the purposes of or in consequence of the transfer, as if references to the Director were references to the Authority.
 
      (3) The Secretary of State may make one or more schemes ("transfer schemes") for the transfer of the property, rights and liabilities of the Directors to the Authority or to the Council.
 
      (4) A transfer scheme may provide for the transfer to the Council of rights and liabilities relating to persons employed in the civil service of the state.
 
      (5) On the day appointed by a transfer scheme, the property, rights and liabilities which are the subject of the scheme shall, by virtue of this subsection, be transferred in accordance with the provisions of the scheme.
 
      (6) The property, rights and liabilities of the Gas Consumers Council (including rights and obligations in relation to contracts of employment) are, by virtue of this subsection, transferred to the Council.
 
      (7) Subsection (6) has effect in relation to property, rights or liabilities to which it applies in spite of any provision (of whatever nature) which would prevent or restrict the transfer of the property, rights or liabilities otherwise than by that subsection.
 
      (8) Schedule 3 has effect in relation to transfer schemes and transfers by any provision of this Act of functions, property, rights and liabilities to the Authority or Council.
 
Forward work programmes.     4. - (1) The Authority and the Council shall, before each financial year, each publish a document (the "forward work programme") containing a general description of the projects, other than those comprising routine activities in the exercise of its functions, which it plans to undertake during the year.
 
      (2) That description must include the objectives of each project.
 
      (3) The forward work programme for any year shall also include an estimate of the overall expenditure which the Authority or the Council expects to incur during the year in the exercise of its functions.
 
      (4) Before publishing the forward work programme for any year, the Authority or the Council shall give notice-
 
 
    (a) containing a draft of the forward work programme, and
 
    (b) specifying the time within which representations or objections to the proposals contained in it may be made,
       and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.
 
      (5) The notice under subsection (4) must be published by the Authority or the Council in such manner as it considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the matters contained in it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by them.
 
      (6) The Authority must send a copy of any notice given by it under subsection (4) to the Council.
 
      (7) The Council must send a copy of any notice given by it under subsection (4) to the Authority and the Secretary of State.
 
 
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