House of Lords - Explanatory Note
Regulatory Reform Bill [H.L.] - continued          House of Lords

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Clause 4: Statutory instrument procedure

66. Subsection (1) requires that orders be made by statutory instrument. Subsection (2) sets out the standard provision for the draft affirmative order procedure.

67. Subsections (3)-(7) provide for minor detailed provisions of orders to be amended by negative resolution procedure. The wide scope of the DCOA enabled matters to be prescribed by a further order (as, for example, with the Deregulation (Corn Returns Act 1882) Order (SI no. 1996/848) where minor detail was set out in the Corn Returns Regulations (SI no. 1997/1873)). However, this power was very limited in practice, because of the need to ensure that any such regulations maintained necessary protection.

68. The Bill does not contain an express power for orders to sub-delegate. Instead, the new approach in this clause allows Parliament to see what is proposed to be done but also enables it to be amended subsequently by statutory instrument. It allows for parts of a proposed regulatory reform order to be designated as subordinate provisions, thereby enabling Ministers to change them subsequently by negative resolution order. It is envisaged that subordinate provisions would usually be included in schedules to the main part of the regulatory reform order, in the same way as technical detail is omitted from Articles in European Community legislation, but rather set out in Annexes.

69. This new approach is more open and accountable, in that the elements that the Minister sees as subordinate would have to be identified in advance in the consultation paper, the draft Order itself and details provided in the explanatory document presented under Clause 6. In order to satisfy the scrutiny Committees that there was not an issue of inappropriate sub-delegation, the main order would set out the principles that govern the detailed matters and those principles would not themselves be amendable - but the detail as identified as subordinate provisions would be amendable. During consideration of the proposed regulatory reform order, the main safeguard would be the ability of either scrutiny Committee to insist, on pain of an adverse report, that the main principles were set out in the main part of the order, which would be unamendable (except by a further full regulatory reform order). Indeed, the Committees could set out in their reports what unamendable principles they would require in the main body of the order - for instance, they could decide that the main order should set a cap to the level of fees to be prescribed in subordinate provisions. Subsequently, there would be the additional safeguard of further Committee scrutiny at the time any subordinate provisions order was made by negative resolution procedure. It will be for Parliament to decide in due course which Committee should exercise that scrutiny role.

70. As the order has to be tabled in a complete form as a combination of both main and subordinate provisions, it would not be possible to have a "skeleton" order. The kind of details that would be dealt with by a subordinate provisions order (which could have been dealt with under the DCOA) would be matters of administrative arrangement such as the precise detail of an application form, the number of copies of the form required and any accompanying fee, etc. In addition, a subordinate provisions order might cover the more technical details of the legislation, such as procedures needed to give effect to principles set out in the main part of the order. Such details may change from time to time. Without provision for a subordinate provisions order, the only way to change the details would be to undergo the full consultation and scrutiny procedure, which might be viewed as an inappropriate use of Parliamentary time and would be likely to lead to delay.

71. Subsection (5) specifies the role of the National Assembly for Wales in making subordinate provisions orders relating to Wales. The purpose is to reflect the devolution settlement.

Clause 5: Preliminary consultation

72. This clause sets out the first steps in the procedure for making an order, and is based on section 3 of the DCOA, with some additions to take account of the widened power. Subsection (1) lists those parties who must be consulted by a Minister before he takes his proposals any further. Under paragraph (c) the Minister is required to consult the Law Commission and/or Scottish Law Commission "in such cases as he considers appropriate". The circumstances in which this might be the case would be when one of the Commissions had relevant experience concerning the subject-area covered by the order, perhaps because it was within the current or recent programme of work. It is envisaged that this would be likely in cases where the reform touched on the common law or where the removal of inconsistencies and anomalies was contemplated. Under paragraph (d) the Minister is also required to consult the National Assembly for Wales when provision made by the order would extend to (i.e. apply within) Wales.

73. If the Minister varies his proposals as a result of the consultation he has undertaken, subsection (3) requires him to consult again as appropriate. The subsection makes clear that the Minister does not have to repeat the whole consultation exercise; the additional consultation is only in respect of those elements of his proposal that he has changed and might involve only those consultees affected by the change.

74. Subsection (4) allows any proposal that has undergone the consultation process before the Bill is passed to be carried over, without having to repeat the consultation. A form of words has been agreed with the current scrutiny Committees for insertion in any consultation documents on prospective use of the power, and can be found at Annex G.

Clause 6: Document to be laid before Parliament

75. As detailed in paragraph 8 above in respect of deregulation orders, the next step following the required consultation is for the Minister to lay his proposals before Parliament. Subsection (1) sets out how this is to be done. The Minister has to lay a document in the form of a draft order, setting out in detail all the relevant information about his proposals, as specified in subsection (2).

76. This information enables the Committees scrutinising the proposal to take into account all the relevant factors. Once laid before Parliament, this document is in the public domain.

77. Proposed regulatory reform orders will also be accompanied by a statement of the Minister's views on its compatibility with the Convention rights. This is in line with the commitment made by Lord Williams of Mostyn (House of Lords Hansard 2 November 1999, col. 738) that Ministers would always inform the House whether they are satisfied that secondary legislation subject to the affirmative procedure is compatible.

Clause 7: Representations made in confidence or containing damaging information

78. This clause sets out what should be done when someone responding to the consultation exercise on a proposed order requests that their response should not be disclosed. The reason for allowing representations to be made in confidence is that, for example, an elderly person living near a public house may want to give details of the disturbance caused if there is a proposal to extend the opening hours (as, for example, with the Deregulation (Millennium Licensing) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/2137) (detailed at paragraph 46 of Annex A), but he or she may be justifiably concerned about reprisals. Similarly, where there is a proposal to relax a requirement, someone might want to show how the existing control has enabled a major fraud to be detected. Or there may be commercially confidential information either as to the benefits or adverse effects to be expected as a result of a proposed order.

79. Subsection (2) makes clear that the fact that the respondent has made representations should always be disclosed. That is, no respondent would be able to exclude his name from the list of respondents that is presented to Parliament under clause 6(2)(k). However, the Minister should not disclose the content of that representation without the express consent of the respondent and, if the representation relates to a third party, their consent too. Alternatively, the Minister may disclose the content of the representation in such a way as to preserve the anonymity of the respondent and any third party involved.

80. Subsection (3) governs the requirements for disclosure where a respondent has given information about a third party which the Minister believes may be damaging to the interests of that third party. In such cases the respondent may not have requested confidentiality. The Minister does not have to pass on such information to Parliament if he does not believe it is true or he is unable to obtain the consent of the third party to disclosure.

81. However, there may be cases where one or both of the Deregulation Committees wishes to have access to the representations as originally submitted. Subsection (4) provides for this. This provision acts as a safeguard against improper influence being brought to bear on Ministers in their formulation of regulatory reform orders. The fact that responses may be released to the Committees in this way will be made clear in the consultation document accompanying any proposed order.

Clause 8: Parliamentary consideration of proposals

82. This clause mirrors section 4 of the DCOA. Subsections (1) and (2) provide that Parliament shall have 60 days to consider any proposal laid in the form of a draft order. Only after the 60 days have passed may the Minister proceed to lay a draft order. As set out in Parliamentary Standing Orders, this 60 days is the time during which the two Deregulation Committees scrutinise the proposed order and produce their reports.

83. Subsection (3) excludes from the calculation of the 60 day period any time when Parliament is not sitting for more than four days. The effect is that consideration of proposed orders can be carried over from one Session to the next, and from one Parliament to the next.

84. Subsections (4) and (5) are concerned with the next stage in the procedure, when the Minister lays the draft order proper. Subsection (4) requires him to take account of any representations made during the 60 day period and in particular the reports from the Deregulation Committees. Subsection (5) requires him to lay a statement alongside the draft order, giving details of any such representations, resolutions or reports, and to highlight any changes he has made to the proposed order as a result.

85. Subsection (6) makes clear that the provision in clause 7 for representations made in confidence or containing damaging information applies to any representations made during the 60 days as well as to those made during the preliminary consultation stage. The exception is the provision for the Deregulation Committees to request access to particular representations, which only applies at the earlier stage.

Clause 9: Codes relating to enforcement of regulatory requirements

86. Subsection (1) confers a power to make codes of practice relating to enforcement of regulatory requirements. Subsection (1)(a) outlines the first element of the context within which the power is intended to operate: the identification of statutory requirements that are enforced. Use of the terms "restriction", "requirement" and "condition" is explained at paragraph 50 above.

87. Subsection (1)(b) outlines the second precondition that must be met before the power can be exercised. In forming its view that the enforcement officers' practice "ought to be improved", the appropriate authority (as defined at subsection (5)) might take into account factors such as the take-up and compliance with the Enforcement Concordat and the extent and merit of business dissatisfaction with current enforcement practice. It will be a matter of judgement by the appropriate authority whether the current practice "ought to be improved". That view will be tested by consultation, which is provided for in clause 10.

88. The remainder of subsection (1) provides that, if these two preconditions are met, the appropriate authority may issue a code of practice setting out recommended enforcement practice. A code of practice would be likely to be based on, but not identical to, the existing Enforcement Concordat.

89. Subsection (2) sets out two different but not exclusive approaches for framing a code. The aim is to allow a code to be tailored to the enforcement problems that are driving Ministers to exercise the power. Subsection (2)(a) provides that a code could apply to all enforcement officers enforcing a particular legal requirement. For example, it could apply to any enforcement officer enforcing the law on health and safety at work. If this approach were to be followed, the code would include a list of the legislation to which it applied. The alternative approach, at subsection (2)(b), is for a code to apply more specifically to enforcers of a particular description, or to enforcers in specified areas. For example, a code could be applied to all trading standards officers or to all environmental health officers, or to all such officers in a particular geographical area.

90. Subsection (3) deals with the effect of any code. The first stage, at subsection (3)(a), is for a court or tribunal to have found that a defendant is guilty of a breach of a restriction, requirement or condition. The second stage is to determine whether there is a relevant code of practice (as detailed at subsection (3)(b)). If so, the court or tribunal may form a view whether enforcement officers failed to comply with the code (as detailed at subsection (3)(c)). Once these three steps have been completed, the court or tribunal may take into account that failure in deciding how to deal with the regulatory breach. The court would not take compliance with the code into account in determining whether or not a regulatory breach had occurred. The way in which the court or tribunal may take non-compliance with the code into account might be when considering the appropriate penalty for an offence or in considering awards of costs. This approach means that the code is not directly binding on enforcement bodies and there is no direct penalty on the enforcement authority for non-compliance.

91. The effect of subsection (4) is to limit application of any code in Scotland to those matters that have been reserved to the UK Parliament.

92. Subsection (5) defines several terms. The "appropriate authority" exercising the power would normally be a UK Minister at Westminster (expected to be the Minister for the Cabinet Office). However, in the case of a code that relates to an enforcement function of the National Assembly of Wales, such as the control of animal health and welfare in Wales, the Assembly is given the power to set out a code. A UK Minister at Westminster could also exercise the power in respect of these functions but only with the consent of the Assembly. This provides a mechanism by which a single code embracing enforcement in both England and Wales could be applied if considered appropriate. For example, one code could apply to all farm inspectors in England and Wales, assuming that there is consensus between the UK Government and the Assembly.

93. The definition of "enactment" does not affect the meaning of this term in clauses 1-8. Its effect is that the subject of any code may be subordinate legislation as well as restrictions, requirements and conditions imposed directly by primary legislation.

94. The effect of the definition of "enforcement officer" is the same as that in section 5(6) of the DCOA.

Clause 10:Making of codes of practice by designated Minister

95. Clause 10 sets out an established procedure for making or revising codes of practice. Similar procedures appear in section 9B of the Fire Precautions Act 1971, section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and section 85 of the School Standards and Frameworks Act 1998. A feature of the procedure is that the provisions of the relevant code of practice do not themselves become provisions of an order or statutory instrument, but the code is brought into force by a statutory instrument as set out in subsection (5).

96. Subsections (1) and (2) require that a draft code be produced and that various parties with an interest are consulted. This includes the National Assembly for Wales where the draft relates to Wales.

97. Subsections (3) to (8) provide for Parliamentary scrutiny of any proposed code. Subsection (4) makes provision for Parliament to veto any proposed code if it sees fit to do so, but as subsection (6) makes clear, this is without prejudice to the Minister's ability to take up any proposed code and replace it with an amended draft for further Parliamentary scrutiny.

Clause 11: Making of codes of practice by National Assembly for Wales

98. Clause 11 is the Welsh counterpart of clause 10. It requires the National Assembly for Wales to consult on any draft code before bringing the code into force under the Assembly's own statutory instrument. The procedure appropriate for laying an order giving effect to a code of practice proposed by the National Assembly is a matter for the Assembly to determine.

Clause 12: Repeals and savings

99. Subsection (1) repeals sections 1-5 of, and Schedule 1 to, the DCOA except so far as they relate to the making of orders by Ministers in the Scottish Parliament. The deregulation order-making power was devolved under the Scotland Act 1998, and the procedure amended by Article 117 of the Scotland Act 1998 (Consequential Modifications) (No. 2) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/1820). It is therefore available for use by Scottish Ministers as regards devolved matters as they see fit. The regulatory reform order-making power will not be available to Scottish Ministers. In line with the devolution settlement, it will be possible for UK Ministers to make orders that cover reserved matters in Scotland, but they will not be able to make orders covering devolved matters. If the legislation under reform was passed before the Scotland Act 1998, covers Scotland as well as England and Wales and applies to a devolved matter, a UK Minister may:

  • act independently from the Scottish Parliament, repealing the legislation so far as it relates to England and Wales and replacing the provisions with a regulatory reform order. This means that the old primary legislation would still apply in Scotland; or

  • work with the Scottish Parliament to ensure that the changes made by the regulatory reform order were mirrored in Scotland and the old legislation repealed in its entirety. Unless and until the Scottish Parliament creates its own regulatory reform Order-making power, any changes which are outwith the DCOA vires would have to be made by Scottish primary legislation.

100. Similar arrangements apply in relation to the section 5 powers.

101. If, on the day the Bill receives Royal Assent, a proposed deregulation order has begun its 60 day Parliamentary scrutiny, but has not reached the stage when the draft order is formally laid, then subsection (2) allows it to be carried over and to complete its passage as a deregulation order notwithstanding the repeal of the DCOA.

102. Subsection (4) makes clear that any deregulation orders passed under the DCOA are not affected by the repeal of the DCOA.

Clause 13: Consequential amendments

103. Section 6 of the DCOA (which enables the Secretary a State to prescribe model provisions with respect to appeals) contains defined terms which refer to section 5 of the Act. Consequential amendments are needed to ensure that section 6 remains intelligible after the repeal of section 5. There is no need for this clause to extend to Scotland, as the repeal does not extend to Scotland, and subsection (2) makes this clear.

Clause 14: Interpretation

104. The effect of defining Wales as it was defined in the Government of Wales Act 1998 is that the sea around Wales is included.

Clause 15: Short title and extent

105. Subsection (2) makes clear that the Bill extends to Northern Ireland (cf paragraph 42 above) Subsection (3) makes clear that regulatory reform orders may have the same territorial extent as the legislation being reformed.

FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL

106. The Bill sets out the framework for regulatory reform orders and enforcement codes i.e. the circumstances under which they can be brought forward and the limitations to the power. As an enabling Act, it will itself have no financial effect. Any financial effects will flow over time from the individual orders that are brought forward by Ministers under the Act or from the impact of any enforcement codes. The financial effect of each regulatory reform order will be detailed in the document presented to Parliament alongside the draft, as required under clause 6(2)(f). Since it is expected that most regulatory reform orders will remove or reduce burdens, it is envisaged that regulatory reform orders will, in general, have a net positive effect. The financial effect of any enforcement codes will be detailed in the regulatory impact assessment relating to any proposal to issue a code.

EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER

107. As with financial effects, the Bill itself will have no impact on public service manpower, and any effects will flow from the orders and any codes brought forward under the power. The effect of each order and code on public service manpower will be included in both the regulatory impact assessment (detailed below) and, for regulatory reform orders, the document presented to Parliament under clause 6(1).

SUMMARY OF THE REGULATORY APPRAISAL

108. The Cabinet Office has produced a regulatory impact assessment for the Bill, which has been placed in the Library of each House. Copies are also available from the Cabinet Office on 020 7276 2199 or by e-mailing [email protected] or for download at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/bill/index.htm. In sum, as with financial effects and effects on public service manpower, the regulatory impact of the Bill itself is negligible because it is only an enabling power. The regulatory impact on business, charities, the voluntary sector, individuals or the public sector will flow from orders and any codes brought forward under the new Act. Each proposed regulatory reform order and any enforcement code brought forward will be accompanied by its own regulatory impact assessment. As orders are primarily aimed at lifting regulatory burdens, the net effect in each case is expected to be positive. Similarly, the provisions on the making of enforcement codes are intended to be for the benefit of business and so the result would be expected to be beneficial to business.

COMMENCEMENT

109. The provisions of the Bill will come into effect on Royal Assent.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

110. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement, before second reading, about the compatibility of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined in section 1 of that Act). Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, has made the following statement:

    "In my view the provisions of the Regulatory Reform Bill [H.L.] are compatible with the Convention rights."

ANNEX A: LIST OF DEREGULATION ORDERS TO DATE

1. The Deregulation (Greyhound Racing) Order 1995 (SI no. 1995/3231) permitted inter-track betting for greyhound racing. Estimated to increase the greyhound industry's gross income by £2-3 million a year.

2. The Deregulation (Building Societies) Order 1995 (SI no. 1995/3233) contained a number of measures, including increasing to 50% the percentage limit on societies' non-retail funds. Estimated to save the industry £400,000 a year for each point the wholesale interest rate is below the retail interest rate.

3. The Deregulation (Fair Trading Act 1973) (Amendment) (Merger Reference Time Limits) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/345) shortened deadlines for referring mergers to the Director General of Fair Trading.

4. The Deregulation (Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976) (Amendment) (Variation of Exempt Agreements) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/346) removed the requirement for advance clearance by the Director General of Fair Trading of variations to certain agreements. Estimated to save industry £100,000 a year.

5. The Deregulation (Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976) (Amendment) (Time Limits) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/347) simplified time limits for notification of agreements to the Director General of Fair Trading.

6. The Deregulation (Corn Returns Act 1882) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/848) allowed exemptions to the requirement for purchasers of corn to make weekly returns. Estimated to save the industry £100,000 a year.

7. The Deregulation (Length of School Day) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/951) removed restrictions on the procedure for changing the length of the school day.

8. The Deregulation (Special Hours Certificates) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/977) introduced provisional special hours licensing certificates.

9. The Deregulation (Friendly Societies Act 1992) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1188) contained a number of measures, including removing some regulatory and accounting requirements for friendly societies.

10. The Deregulation (Credit Unions) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1189) contained a number of measures, including extending the maximum amount that members of credit unions can borrow and hold in shares.

11. The Deregulation (Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1868) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1211(S.122)) permitted the sale of farmed salmon roe. Estimated to give the Scottish salmon industry access to markets worth £12 million a year.

12. The Deregulation (Long Pull) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1339) abolished the "long pull" offence, which prohibited publicans from serving more alcohol than requested.

13. The Deregulation (Gaming Machines and Betting Office Facilities) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1359) contained a number of measures, including permitting jackpot machines to give all-cash prizes (rather than just tokens) and permitting a greater number of gaming machines in casinos and bingo clubs. Estimated to save the industry £7 million a year through reduced fraud and administration.

14. The Deregulation (Resolutions of Private Companies) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1471) removed the requirement for private companies to consult auditors in written resolution procedures.

15. The Deregulation (Parking Equipment) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1553) abolished the requirement for type approval of parking control equipment. Estimated to save central and local government £70,000 a year in administration costs.

16. The Deregulation (Gun Barrel Proving) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1576) allowed Proof Houses (which prove and mark civilian small arms) to set their own prices.

17. The Deregulation (Motor Vehicles Tests) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1700) allowed a car's first MOT certificate to run for 13 months. Estimated to save the public over £3 million a year.

18. The Deregulation (Industrial and Provident Societies) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1738) contained a number of measures, including aligning the audit requirement thresholds for industrial and provident societies with those of private companies. Estimated to save £3 million a year.

19. The Deregulation (Wireless Telegraphy) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1864) abolished the requirements for TV dealers to hold TV licences and to register with the BBC. Estimated to save TV dealers £10,000 a year.

20. The Deregulation (Building) (Initial Notices and Final Certificates) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/1905) reduced paperwork requirements and restrictions for approved building inspectors. Estimated to reduce approved building inspectors' costs by up to £61,000 a year.

21. The Deregulation (Insurance Companies Act 1982) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/2102) contained a number of measures, including abolishing the requirement for production of five yearly statements of business and permitting annual returns to be made electronically. All measures taken together estimated to save the industry £6 million every five years.

22. The Deregulation (Slaughterhouses Act 1974 and Slaughter of Animals (Scotland) Act 1980) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/2235) contained a number of measures, including removing duplicatory requirements for the licensing of slaughterhouses. Estimated to save the industry £100,000 a year.

23. The Deregulation (Still-Birth and Death Registration) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/2395) permitted notification of death to any registrar (not just the registrar in the locality where the death occurred). Estimated to produce few monetary savings but to reduce the emotional burden significantly.

24. The Deregulation (Bills of Exchange) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/2993) contained a number of measures including permitting the electronic presentation of cheques. Estimated to save the banking industry £30 million a year.

25. The Deregulation (Rag Flock and other Filling Materials Act 1951) (Repeal) Order 1996 (SI no. 1996/3097) repealed the 1951 Act. Estimated to save the upholstering industry £8,000 a year in compliance costs.

26. The Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/950) reduced the required time lapse between a new member of a casino club joining the club and being permitted to participate in gaming and allowed special hours certificates to be issued for casinos.

27. The Deregulation (Employment in Bars) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/957) permitted people aged under 18 on approved apprenticeship schemes to serve in bars.

28. The Deregulation (Gaming on Sunday in Scotland) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/941 (S.83)) brought Sunday opening hours for bingo clubs and casinos in Scotland into line with those in England & Wales.

29. The Deregulation (Betting Licensing) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/947) extended the validity of betting office licences. Estimated to save the industry £450,000 a year.

30. The Deregulation (Validity of Civil Preliminaries to Marriage) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/986) allowed bookings for weddings at registry offices to be made up to twelve months in advance instead of only three.

31. The Deregulation (Occasional Permissions) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1133) increased from four to twelve the number of occasional permissions to sell alcohol available each year to non-profit making organisations.

32. The Deregulation (Provision of School Action Plans) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1142) permitted failing schools to issue a summary of the statement of their proposed action to all parents, rather than issuing the full statement.

33. The Deregulation (Football Pools) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1073) removed the restriction on pools betting on midweek football matches.

34. The Deregulation (Betting and Bingo Advertising etc.) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1074) removed some advertising restrictions on bingo clubs.

35. The Deregulation (Casinos and Bingo Clubs: Debit Cards) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1075) allowed debit cards to be used in casinos and bingo clubs.

36. The Deregulation (Non-Fossil Fuel) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1185) allowed suppliers of electricity other than that which is connected to the national grid to qualify for the Fossil Fuel Levy.

37. The Deregulation (Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1187) removed duplicatory requirements for licensing of pleasure boats.

38. The Deregulation (Licence Transfers) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/114) streamlined licence transfer procedures.

39. The Deregulation (Deduction from Pay of Union Subscriptions) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1529), also known as the Check Off Order, removed the need for 3-yearly re-authorisation of deduction of trade union subscriptions from pay.

40. The Deregulation (Methylated Spirits Sale By Retail) (Scotland) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1602 (S.87)) removed requirements imposed on retailers selling methylated spirits in Scotland.

41. The Deregulation (Exchangeable Driving Licences) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1917) recognised some non-UK driving licences as valid for the purposes of driving in the UK.

42. The Deregulation (Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1946) permitted holders of Northern Ireland driving licences to be granted a licence to drive a private hire vehicle or taxi in England (excluding London) and Wales, putting them on an equal footing with holders of Great Britain and European driving licences.

43. The Deregulation (Weights and Measures) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/503) allowed self verification of weighing and measuring equipment by manufacturers, installers and repairers.

44. The Deregulation (Pipe-lines) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/742) removed the need for consent of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions for certain matters relating to the construction of pipe-lines.

45. The Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/2136) reduced further the required time lapse between a new member of a casino club joining the club and being permitted to participate in gaming (previously addressed by the Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/950)).

46. The Deregulation (Millennium Licensing) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/2137) relaxed the restrictions on opening hours of licensed premises over Millennium Eve.

 
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