FIRE SERVICES BILL |
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.
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.