Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Twenty-First Report



12.  This bill arises out of the dispute over fire-fighters' pay, but affects all employees of a fire brigade, including non-operational staff.


13.  There is a memorandum by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister explaining the delegated powers in clause 1 of the bill. The memorandum is printed at Annex 2 to this Report.

Clause 1

14.  Clause 1(1) enables the Secretary of State by order made by statutory instrument (a) to fix or modify the conditions of service of fire brigade members and (b) to direct fire authorities about use or disposal of property or facilities. An order under (a) is subject to negative procedure and an order under (b) is subject to no Parliamentary procedure.

15.  We take the view that the delegation is appropriate. We also believe that the level of scrutiny is appropriate, taking into account, for example, that regulations governing conditions of service of the police are similarly subject to negative procedure. There is power under clause 1(5)(a) to fix or modify pay or allowances retrospectively. But, we note that under clause 1(6), retrospective reduction is not permitted, and that there is a 2-year "sunset" at clause 1(7).


16.  There is nothing in the delegated powers in the bill to which the Committee wishes to draw the attention of the House.

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