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

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ANNEX B: STANDING ORDERS RELATING TO DEREGULATION ORDERS

Standing Orders of the House of Commons

18. - (1) If the Deregulation Committee has reported under paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 141 (Deregulation Committee) that a draft order laid before the House under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 should be approved and a motion is made by a Minister of the Crown to that effect, the question thereon shall-

    (a) if the committee's recommendation was agreed without a division, be put forthwith;

    (b) if the committee's recommendation was agreed after a division, be put not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion.

(2) If the committee has reported that a draft order should not be approved, no motion to approve the draft order shall be made unless the House has previously resolved to disagree with the committee's report; the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion for such a resolution to disagree shall be put not later than three hours after their commencement; and the question shall be put forthwith on any motion thereafter made by a Minister of the Crown that such a draft order be approved.

(3) Motions to which this order applies may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.

141. - (1) There shall be a select committee, called the Deregulation Committee, to examine every document containing proposals laid before the House under section 3, and every draft order proposed to be made under section 1, of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994.

(2) The committee shall report to the House, in relation to every document containing proposals laid before the House under the said section 3, either

    (a) that a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or

    (b) that the proposals should be amended before a draft order is laid before the House; or

    (c) that the order-making power should not be used in respect of the proposals.

(3) The committee shall report to the House, in relation to every draft order laid before the House under the said section 1, its recommendation whether the draft order should be approved.

(4) The committee may report to the House on any matter arising from consideration of the said proposals or draft orders.

(5)(A) In its consideration of proposals the committee shall consider in each case whether the proposals

    (a) appear to make an inappropriate use of delegated legislation;

    (b) remove or reduce a burden or the authorisation or requirement of a burden;

    (c) continue any necessary protection;

    (d) have been the subject of, and take appropriate account of, adequate consultation;

    (e) impose a charge on the public revenues or contain provisions requiring payments to be made to the Exchequer or any government department or to any local or public authority in consideration of any licence or consent or of any services to be rendered, or prescribe the amount of any such charge or payment;

    (f) purport to have retrospective effect;

    (g) give rise to doubts whether they are intra vires;

    (h) require elucidation or appear to be defectively drafted;

    (i) appear to be incompatible with any obligation resulting from membership of the European Union.

    (B) In its consideration of draft orders, the committee shall consider in each case all the matters set out in sub-paragraph (A) above and the extent to which the Minister concerned has had regard to any resolution or report of the Committee or to any other representations made during the period for parliamentary consideration.

(6) The committee shall consist of eighteen members.

(7) The quorum of the committee shall be five.

(8) Unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.

(9) The committee shall have power-

    (a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom, and to report from time to time;

    (b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference;

    (c) to appoint a sub-committee, of which the quorum shall be two, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom;

    (d) to communicate its evidence and any other documents relating to matters of common interest to any committee appointed by this House and to any committee appointed by the Lords to examine deregulation proposals and draft orders.

(10) The committee and the sub-committee shall have leave to meet concurrently with any select committee appointed by the Lords to examine deregulation proposals and draft orders and any sub-committee thereof.

(11) The committee and the sub-committee shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker and, if their Lordships think fit, the Counsel to the Lord Chairman of Committees.

(12) The committee and the sub-committee shall have power to invite Members of the House who are not members of the committee to attend meetings at which witnesses are being examined and such Members may, at the discretion of the chairman, ask questions of those witnesses; but no Member not being of the committee shall otherwise take part in the proceedings of the committee or sub-committee, or be counted in the quorum.

(13) It shall be an instruction to the committee that before reporting either

    (a) that any proposal should be amended before a draft order is laid before the House, or

    (b) that the order-making power should not be used in respect of any proposal, or

    (c) that any draft order should not be approved,

it shall afford to any government department concerned an opportunity of furnishing orally or in writing to it or to the sub-committee appointed by it such explanations as the department think fit.

(14) It shall be an instruction to the committee that it report on every draft order not more than fifteen sitting days after the draft order was laid before the House, indicating in the case of draft orders which it recommends should be approved whether its recommendation was agreed without a division.

Standing Orders of the House of Lords

40. Notices shall be entered in the Order Paper in the order in which they are received at the Table, provided that:

(1) Starred Questions shall be entered before other business.

(2) Notices relating to Private Business may be entered before Public Business. At the discretion of the Chairman of Committees they may also be entered later in the Order Paper.

(3) Notices relating to the Business of the House and to the Chairman of Committees' Business, if he so desires, shall have priority over other Public Business except Starred Questions.

(4) On all sitting days except Wednesdays, notices and orders relating to Public Bills, Measures, Affirmative Instruments and reports from Select Committees of the House shall have precedence over other notices and orders save the foregoing.

(5) On Wednesdays, notices of Motions shall have precedence over notices and orders relating to Public Bills, Measures and delegated legislation.

(6) Any motion relating to a report from the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee on a draft order laid under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 shall be entered before a motion to approve that draft order.

(7) Subject to paragraphs (4), (5) and (6) the precedence of notices and orders relating to Public Bills, Measures, Affirmative Instruments and reports from Select Committees of the House may be varied on any day, if the convenience of the House so requires.

(8) Unstarred Questions shall be entered last.

72. - (1) No Motion for a resolution of the House to approve an Affirmative Instrument shall be moved until:

    (a) except in the case of any Order in Council or draft Order in Council made or proposed to be made under paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974, or a draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1974, there has been laid before the House the report thereon of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments;

    (b) in the case of a draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, there has been laid before the House the report thereon of the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee; and

    (c) in the case of a Hybrid Instrument, the proceedings under Private Business Standing Order 216 or 216A have been terminated.

(2) In this Standing Order "Affirmative Instrument" means an Order in Council, departmental order, rules, regulations, scheme or other similar instrument presented to or laid or laid in draft before the House where an affirmative resolution is required before it, or any part of it, becomes effective, or is made, or is a condition of its continuance in operation: but the expression does not include a Measure laid before the House under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 nor regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act 1920.

(3) An Order in Council that may not be made except in response to an address by the House to Her Majesty is an Affirmative Instrument within the meaning of this Standing Order, and a Motion for an address to Her Majesty praying that an order be made is a Motion to approve the order.

(4) An order, rules, regulations, scheme or instrument laid in draft before the House for the purpose of being approved by resolution of the House is an Affirmative Instrument within the meaning of this Standing Order notwithstanding that, if the draft is not approved, that instrument is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House.

ANNEX C: TEXT OF THE ENFORCEMENT CONCORDAT

The Principles of Good Enforcement: Policy and Procedures

This document sets out what business and others being regulated can expect from enforcement officers. It commits us to good enforcement policies and procedures. It may be supplemented by additional statements of enforcement policy.

The primary function of central and local government enforcement work is to protect the public, the environment and groups such as consumers and workers. At the same time, carrying out enforcement functions in an equitable, practical and consistent manner helps to promote a thriving national and local economy. We are committed to these aims and to maintaining a fair and safe trading environment.

The effectiveness of legislation in protecting consumers or sectors in society depends crucially on the compliance of those regulated. We recognise that most businesses want to comply with the law. We will, therefore, take care to help business and others meet their legal obligations without unnecessary expense, while taking firm action, including prosecution where appropriate, against those who flout the law or act irresponsibly. All citizens will reap the benefits of this policy through better information, choice, and safety.

We have therefore adopted the central and local government Concordat on Good Enforcement. Included in the term "enforcement" are advisory visits and assisting with compliance as well as licensing and formal enforcement action. By adopting the concordat we commit ourselves to the following policies and procedures, which contribute to best value, and will provide information to show that we are observing them.

Principles of Good Enforcement: Policy

Standards

In consultation with business and other relevant interested parties, including technical experts where appropriate, we will draw up clear standards setting out the level of service and performance the public and business people can expect to receive. We will publish these standards and our annual performance against them. The standards will be made available to businesses and others who are regulated.

Openness

We will provide information and advice in plain language on the rules that we apply and will disseminate this as widely as possible. We will be open about how we set about our work, including any charges that we set, consulting business, voluntary organisations, charities, consumers and workforce representatives. We will discuss general issues, specific compliance failures or problems with anyone experiencing difficulties.

Helpfulness

We believe that prevention is better than cure and that our role therefore involves actively working with business, especially small and medium sized businesses, to advise on and assist with compliance. We will provide a courteous and efficient service and our staff will identify themselves by name. We will provide a contact point and telephone number for further dealings with us and we will encourage business to seek advice /information from us. Applications for approval of establishments, licenses, registrations, etc, will be dealt with efficiently and promptly. We will ensure that, wherever practicable, our enforcement services are effectively co-ordinated to minimise unnecessary overlaps and time delays.

Complaints about service

We will provide well publicised, effective and timely complaints procedures easily accessible to business, the public, employees and consumer groups. In cases where disputes cannot be resolved, any right of complaint or appeal will be explained, with details of the process and the likely time-scales involved.

Proportionality

We will minimise the costs of compliance for business by ensuring that any action we require is proportionate to the risks. As far as the law allows, we will take account of the circumstances of the case and the attitude of the operator when considering action.

We will take particular care to work with small businesses and voluntary and community organisations so that they can meet their legal obligations without unnecessary expense, where practicable.

Consistency

We will carry out our duties in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. While inspectors are expected to exercise judgement in individual cases, we will have arrangements in place to promote consistency, including effective arrangements for liaison with other authorities and enforcement bodies through schemes such as those operated by the Local Authorities Co-Ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS) and the Local Authority National Type Approval Confederation (LANTAC).

Principles of Good Enforcement: Procedures

Advice from an officer will be put clearly and simply and will be confirmed in writing, on request, explaining why any remedial work is necessary and over what time-scale, and making sure that legal requirements are clearly distinguished from best practice advice.

Before formal enforcement action is taken, officers will provide an opportunity to discuss the circumstances of the case and, if possible, resolve points of difference, unless immediate action is required (for example, in the interests of health and safety or environmental protection or to prevent evidence being destroyed).

Where immediate action is considered necessary, an explanation of why such action was required will be given at the time and confirmed in writing in most cases within 5 working days and, in all cases, within 10 working days.

Where there are rights of appeal against formal action, advice on the appeal mechanism will be clearly set out in writing at the time the action is taken (whenever possible this advice will be issued with the enforcement notice).

March 1998

Annex D—Regulatory Reform Order-making: Initial checks in vires

Annex E—Regulatory Reform Order-making: Consultation and Committee scrutiny

Annex F—Regulatory Reform Order-making: Parliamentary consideration

ANNEX G:     REGULATORY REFORM PROPOSALS AND ORDERS: PARLIAMENTARY CONSIDERATION

NOTE FOR DEPARTMENTS (NOT FOR PUBLICATION):

The wording of this annex has been agreed with the House of Commons' Deregulation Committee and the House of Lords' Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee.

Apart from deleting this text box and inserting the relevant details where indicated by square brackets, Departments should not change the wording in any way whatsoever.

Introduction

1. These reform proposals in relation to [xxxx] will require changes to primary legislation in order to give effect to them. There are two options for the way forward:

  • firstly, the Government could introduce a Bill into Parliament, as Parliamentary time permits. On that basis, the Government would welcome comments on its proposals;

  • secondly, the Government could consult now, respecting the requirements of the Regulatory Reform Bill. The proposals in this Bill would build on and enlarge the powers in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 to make Deregulation Orders, and would allow reform proposals such as these to be implemented by a Regulatory Reform Order, subject to preliminary consultation and an extended Parliamentary scrutiny of any subsequently proposed Order. Under the Bill, if preliminary consultation is undertaken before the Bill is passed that would otherwise satisfy the requirements of the Bill, it would be allowed to count as a consultation under the Bill as enacted. If appropriate, and provided that Parliament enacts the Bill substantially in the form in which it was laid before Parliament in Cm 4713, the Government might then bring forward a proposal for a Regulatory Reform Order. On that basis, the Government also invites comments on these reform proposals in relation to [xxx] as measures that might be carried forward by a Regulatory Reform Order under the Bill.

Regulatory Reform Proposals

2. Detailed information on the Regulatory Reform Bill can be found at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/bill/index.htm.

3. The starting point for regulatory reform proposals is thorough and effective consultation with interested parties. In undertaking this preliminary consultation, the Minister is expected to seek out actively the views of those concerned, including those who may be adversely affected, and then to demonstrate to the Scrutiny Committees that they have dealt with those concerns.

4. To that end, when the Minister lays proposals before Parliament under the Bill (this can only happen after the Bill receives Royal Assent), he or she must also lay a report setting out:

  • the burden imposed by the existing law;

  • whether any of those burdens are proposed to be removed or reduced;

  • how the proposals otherwise further the other objects of the Bill (re-enacting proportionate burdens, introducing new but proportionate burdens, removing inconsistencies and anomalies);

  • whether there is 'necessary protection' and how it is to be continued;

  • how any reasonable expectation of the exercise of rights or freedoms is affected (if at all) and how the exercise can be continued;

  • how new burdens (if any) are both proportionate and, taking the proposals as a whole, strike a fair balance between the public interest and the interests of the persons affected by the new burdens;

  • whether any parts of the proposed Order are being designated as 'subordinate provisions', allowing them to be changed by less elaborate Parliamentary procedures in the future;

  • what cost savings or increases are expected, and why;

  • what other benefits there will be from the proposals;

  • details of the consultation process;

  • any representations received as a result of that consultation; and

  • the changes made as a result.

5. Under the Bill, on the day the Minister lays the proposals and report, the period for Parliamentary consideration begins. It would last for 60 days, excluding Parliamentary recesses. If you wanted a copy of the proposals and the Minister's report, you would be able to get them either from the Government department concerned or by visiting the Cabinet Office's website at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/bill/condocs.htm.

Parliamentary Scrutiny

6. Both Houses of Parliament could be expected to make special arrangements to scrutinise regulatory reform proposals and orders. This is likely to involve the appointment of Select Committees in each House, on the lines of those scrutinising Deregulation Orders which would be superseded by Regulatory Reform Orders under the Bill.

7. Subject to the terms of any Standing Order under which they were appointed, any such Committee might well consider in each case whether proposals:

    a) appeared to make an inappropriate use of delegated legislation;

    b) removed or reduced a burden or the authorisation or requirement of a burden;

    c) continued any necessary protection;

    d) had been the subject of, and taken appropriate account of, adequate consultation;

    e) imposed a charge on the public revenues or contained provisions requiring payments to be made to the Exchequer or any Government department or to any local or public authority in consideration of any licence or consent or of any services to be rendered, or prescribed the amount of any such charge or payment;

    f) purported to have retrospective effect;

    g) gave rise to doubts whether they were within the powers granted by the Bill;

    h) required elucidation or appeared to be defectively drafted;

    i) appeared to be incompatible with any obligation resulting from membership of the European Union.

    This list reflects the existing terms of reference. It is likely that they would be expanded to cover:

    • whether any of the proposals could prevent any person from continuing to exercise any right or freedom which he might reasonably expect to continue to exercise and, if so, how he is to be enabled to continue to exercise that right or freedom;

    • whether the proposals would have the effect of creating a burden affecting any person in the carrying on of an activity and, if so, how the conditions on proportionality in section 1(1)(c) and 3(2) are satisfied in relation to the burdens being created;

    • whether any provisions of the proposed order are being designated as subordinate provisions for the purposes of section 4 and, if so, why they are being so designated.

    Each Committee might take oral or written evidence to help it decide these matters.

8. It could then be expected to report:

  • whether the Minister should proceed to lay a draft order in the same terms as the proposal, or

  • whether amendment is necessary, or

  • whether the order-making power should not be used (for example, because of the significance or sensitivity of the proposal).

Copies of Committee Reports, as Parliamentary papers, could be obtained through HMSO. They would also be made available on the Parliament website at http://www.parliament.uk.

9. Under the Bill, after the 60 days for Parliamentary consideration, the Minister would be able to lay a draft order before both Houses, this time for the approval of Parliament.

10. Subject to the terms of any Standing Order appointing it, a Committee might be expected to examine any draft order to see how far its views have been taken into account. It might then report, within 15 sitting days, whether the draft order should be approved or not, and it would then be for the relevant House itself to take its final decision.

11. Any final draft order would have to be approved by both Houses of Parliament before becoming law.

How To Make Your Views Known

12. Your first and main opportunity is to make your views known to the relevant department as part of the Government's consultation process, and you should send your views to the person named in the consultation document [in this case XXX]. If, when the Minister lays proposals before Parliament, you feel that your concerns have not been adequately reflected, you are welcome to put your views before any Committee appointed by either House.

13. In the first instance, this should be in writing. The Committees would normally decide on the basis of written submissions whether to take oral evidence.

14. Your submission should be as concise as possible, and should focus on one or more of the criteria listed in paragraph 7 above.

15. The Government will inform all those responding to this consultation exercise of the contact details of any Committees appointed to scrutinise Regulatory Reform Orders, before proceeding to lay any draft Order that may arise from this consultation, if it decides to seek to legislate by this route.

Confidentiality

16. The Bill provides at clause 7 what should happen when someone responding to the consultation exercise on a proposed order requests that their response should not be disclosed.

17. Generally, representations can be made in confidence but the fact that someone has made representations will always be disclosed to Parliament. 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. Where a respondent has given information about a third party which the Minister believes may be damaging to the interests of that third party, 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.

18. The Bill also allows the scrutiny Committees access on request to the representations as originally submitted, 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.

 

Regulatory Impact Unit

CABINET OFFICE

 
 
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