Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Third Report


Postal Services Act 2000, section 127(1) to (3)

127  General amendments and repeals

(1)  The Secretary of State may by order make such supplementary, incidental or consequential provision as he considers necessary or expedient for the general purposes, or any particular purpose, of this Act or in consequence of any provision made by or under this Act or for giving full effect to this Act or any such provision.

(2)  The power conferred by subsection (1) … may, in particular, be exercised by modifying any enactment, instrument or other document.

(3)  No other provision of this Act restricts the power conferred by subsection (1).

Note: "modify" is defined in section 125(1) as including amend or repeal.

Parliamentary procedure: affirmative (section 122(12)).

In the Bill as introduced in the House of Lords, the provision was more limited.

Departmental explanation:

"[Section 127] confers a power on the Secretary of State to make further modifications by order of enactments, instruments and other documents in consequence of the Bill. An order tabled under this clause will be subject to the affirmative procedure. [Section 128] confers a similar power, but in relation to local enactments. An order under [Section 128] will be subject to the negative procedure as it is considered that modifications to local enactment will not be controversial. There are more than 1,600 consequential amendments to consider and it is impractical to include all these amendments on the face of the Bill. These consequential amendments will, for example, amend references from the "Post Office" to "Post Office company" or "universal service provider" and references to the existing legislation to "Post Office Act 2000". The order-making power in these clauses is necessary to complete the new framework for postal services provided by the Bill."

Committee Report (17th of 1999-2000):

The Committee mentioned the provision in its report, and said that no amendment was necessary to the delegated powers in the Bill or their Parliamentary control.

The provision was subject to an amendment at Report Stage in the House of Lords, to extend it to supplementary and incidental provision.

Departmental explanation:

"[Section 127] already contains an order making power to enable the Secretary of State to modify any enactment, instrument or other document as appears necessary or expedient in consequence of this Act. It is intended that this power will be used to modify some 1,600 references to the Post Office and related terms in legislation (which are not dealt with adequately by the general glosses in Part 1 of Schedule 8). These modifications will not always be uniform and many need to be considered carefully in the context of the whole of the Bill. For example amending "Post Office" not just to "Post Office company" but possibly "universal service provider" or "any postal operator". That said, where it is possible to make "class" provisions, such as for the terms "by post", "registered post" etc, these will be made. However, while every effort has been made to identify all of the type of changes that may be necessary under the power in [section 127] it is anticipated that some references or provisions will be discovered (as the work on the order develops) where it will be necessary to make supplemental and incidental provision rather than simply substitute one reference for another in existing legislation.

Following further consideration, it was thought that the existing power was not sufficient in such circumstances and that it was appropriate for it to be amended to enable the Secretary of State to make supplementary and incidental, as well as consequential provision. The amended clause makes clear that such provisions may only be made where necessary and expedient for the general purposes, or any particular purpose, of the Bill and in consequence of any provision made by or under the Bill or to give full effect to the Bill or any such provision.

Orders under this clause will remain subject to affirmative procedures."

Committee Report (23rd of 1999-2000):

"The Committee has had very little time to consider the amendments but is satisfied that delegation is appropriate … The Committee accepts that affirmative procedure is appropriate for the Henry VIII power".

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