Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Nineteenth Report



NINETEENTH REPORT


7 JUNE 2000


By the Select Committee appointed to report whether the provisions of any bill inappropriately delegate legislative power, or whether they subject the exercise of legislative power to an inappropriate degree of parliamentary scrutiny; to report on documents laid before Parliament under section 3(3) of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 and on draft orders laid under section 1(4) of that Act; and to perform, in respect of such documents and orders, the functions performed in respect of other instruments by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.

ORDERED TO REPORT

CARERS AND DISABLED CHILDREN BILL

INTRODUCTION

1. This Private Member's bill gives carers a right to have an assessment made of their needs; makes a provision for services to help carers; and provides for the making of payments to carers and disabled children aged 16 or 17 in lieu of the provision of services to them.

Clause 1

2. Subsection (4) allows the Secretary of State (or the National Assembly for Wales) to give directions to local authorities as to the manner in which assessments under subsection (1) are to be made. This is not a delegated legislative power.

Clause 2

3. Subsection (3)(b) provides that a service delivered under the bill to the person cared for may not, except in prescribed circumstances include "anything of an intimate nature". "Prescribed" means prescribed in regulations (clause 11(1)) and subsection (4) allows regulations to say what is, or is not, of an intimate nature. Regulations may be made by the Secretary of State or the National Assembly and, if made by the Secretary of State, are subject to negative procedure, which the Committee considers appropriate.

Clause 3

4. Subsection (1) provides that regulations may make provision for the issue of vouchers by local authorities. Subsection (2) explains the purpose of the vouchers (to help a carer get a break from caring) and subsection (3) extends the regulation-making power. Regulations made by the Secretary of State are subject to negative procedure, which the Committee considers appropriate. The National Assembly may make regulations for Welsh authorities.

Clause 5

5. This clause amends the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 and the substituted paragraph (b) of section 1(1) contains a power for the Secretary of State to specify by regulations descriptions of persons for the purposes of that section. This is an extension of the existing power to make regulations under that section which is subject to negative procedure.

Clause 7

6. This clause inserts two sections in the Children Act 1989. New Section 17B contains, in subsections (1) and (3), a power for the Secretary of State to make regulations providing for the issue of vouchers to enable a person having parental responsibility for a disabled child to have a break from caring for the child. Section 104(2) of the 1989 Act provides negative procedure.

Clause 12

7. As well as a simple commencement order provision this clause contains, in subsection (5), an order-making power enabling the Secretary of State to modify the bill in its application to the Isles of Scilly.

Recommendation

8. The Committee considers that no amendment is necessary either to the delegated powers in the bill or to the parliamentary control provided for these powers.


PSYCHOTHERAPY BILL [HL]

INTRODUCTION

9. This Private Member's bill establishes the General Psychotherapy Council and provides for the registration of the psychotherapists and for their professional education and conduct. Clause 32 makes it an offence for any one who is not registered under the bill or with the General Medical Council to describe himself as "a psychotherapist, psychotherapy practitioner, psychotherapy physician, or any other kind of psychotherapist".

Powers

10. The delegated powers in the bill are of two kinds - those conferred on the Queen in Council or the Secretary of State and those conferred on the General Council created by the bill. The general scheme is familiar from earlier legislation providing for the registration of practitioners in the medical professions and in professions allied to medicine.

11. There is an Order in Council power in clause 1 which includes power to make provision in substitution for or in addition to provisions in the Schedule. The power arises only when the General Council makes a request and negative procedure applies. There is another such power in clause 10(8)(b) - rules about appeals to the Privy Council under that clause; and another in clause 31(5) about appeals under that clause, but neither of these powers is subject to Parliamentary control. There is a simple commencement power conferred on the Secretary of State by clause 43.

12. The bill contains many powers conferred on the General Council to make rules. Clause 35 provides that those rules require the approval of the Privy Council and that that approval is to be given by order which, in the case of rules under clauses 5, 8(8), 17 or 30, is to be subject to negative procedure, which the Committee considers appropriate.

Recommendation

13. The Committee considers that no amendment is necessary either to the delegated powers in the bill or to the parliamentary control provided for these powers.


DIVORCE (RELIGIOUS MARRIAGES) BILL [HL]

14. This Bill does not contain delegated legislative powers.


UTILITIES BILL - GOVERNMENT AMENDMENTS FOR COMMITTEE STAGE

15. We reported on this bill in our 17th report of this session,[1] when we considered that no amendment was necessary either to the delegated powers in the bill or to the parliamentary control provided for these powers. Government amendments for Committee stage which contain further delegated powers are discussed in the Department's supplementary memorandum, printed in Annex 2 to this report. The Committee has considered these amendments and sees no need to comment on any of them.


POSTAL SERVICES BILL - GOVERNMENT AMENDMENTS FOR COMMITTEE STAGE

16. We reported on this bill in our 17th report of this session,[2] when we considered that no amendment was necessary either to the delegated powers in the bill or to the parliamentary control provided for these powers. Government amendments for Committee stage which contain further delegated powers are discussed in the Department's supplementary memorandum, printed in Annex 3 to this report. The Committee has considered these amendments and sees no need to comment on any of them.[3]


1  HL Paper 72. Back
2  HL Paper 72. Back
3  This report is also published on the Internet at the House of Lords Select Committee Home Page (http://www.parliament.uk), where further information about the work of the Committee is also available. Back

 
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