Utilities Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART II, OBJECTIVES OF REGULATION OF GAS AND ELECTRICITY - continued
Electricity - continued

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Guidance on social and environmental matters in relation to electricity.     14. After section 3A of the 1989 Act (which is inserted by section 13 above) there is inserted-
 
 
"Guidance on social and environmental matters.     3B. - (1) The Secretary of State shall from time to time issue guidance about the making by the Authority of a contribution towards the attainment of any social or environmental policies set out or referred to in the guidance.
 
    (2) The Authority shall, in carrying out its functions under this Part, have regard to any guidance issued under this section.
 
      (3) Before issuing guidance under this section the Secretary of State shall consult-
 
 
    (a) the Authority;
 
    (b) the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council (in this Act referred to as "the Council");
 
    (c) licence holders; and
 
    (d) such other persons as the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to consult in relation to the guidance.
      (4) A draft of any guidance proposed to be issued under this section shall be laid before each House of Parliament.
 
      (5) Guidance shall not be issued under this section until after the period of forty days beginning with-
 
 
    (a) the day on which the draft is laid before each House of Parliament; or
 
    (b) if the draft is laid before the House of Lords on one day and the House of Commons on another, the later of those two days.
      (6) If, before the end of that period, either House resolves that the guidance should not be issued, the Secretary of State must not issue it.
 
      (7) In reckoning any period of forty days for the purposes of subsection (5) or (6), no account shall be taken of any time during which-
 
 
    (a) Parliament is dissolved or prorogued; or
 
    (b) both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.
      (8) The Secretary of State shall arrange for any guidance issued under this section to be published in such manner as he considers appropriate."
 
Health and safety in relation to electricity.     15. After section 3B of the 1989 Act (which is inserted by section 14 above) there is inserted-
 
 
"Health and safety.     3C. - (1) The Secretary of State and the Authority shall consult the Health and Safety Commission about all electricity safety issues which may be relevant to the carrying out of any of their respective functions under this Part.
 
    (2) The Secretary of State may require the Authority also to consult him about electricity safety issues of particular descriptions.
 
      (3) The Secretary of State and the Authority shall, in carrying out their respective functions under this Part, take into account any advice given by the Health and Safety Commission about any electricity safety issue (whether or not in response to consultation under subsection (1)).
 
      (4) The Authority shall, in carrying out its functions under this Part, take into account any advice given by the Secretary of State about any electricity safety issue (whether or not in response to consultation under subsection (2)).
 
      (5) For the purposes of this section an electricity safety issue is anything concerning the generation, transmission, distribution or supply of electricity which may affect the health and safety of-
 
 
    (a) members of the public; or
 
    (b) persons employed in connection with any of those activities."
Exceptions from the general duties under 1989 Act.     16. After section 3C of the 1989 Act (which is inserted by section 15 above) there is inserted-
 
 
"Exceptions from sections 3A to 3C.     3D. - (1) Section 3A does not apply in relation to the issuing by the Secretary of State of guidance under section 3B.
 
    (2) Sections 3A to 3C do not apply in relation to functions of the Secretary of State under section 36 or 37.
 
      (3) Sections 3A to 3C do not apply in relation to anything done by the Authority-
 
 
    (a) in the exercise of functions relating to the determination of disputes;
 
    (b) in the exercise of functions under section 43(3).
      (4) The Authority may nevertheless, when exercising any function under section 43(3), have regard to any matter in respect of which a duty is imposed by sections 3A to 3C ("a general matter"), if it is a matter to which the Director General of Fair Trading could have regard when exercising that function (but that is not to be taken as implying that, in relation to functions mentioned in subsection (2), regard may not be had to any general matter).
 
      (5) The duties imposed by sections 3A to 3C do not affect the obligation of the Authority or the Secretary of State to perform or comply with any other duty or requirement (whether arising under this Act or another enactment, by virtue of any Community obligation or otherwise)."
 
 
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