Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Eleventh Report


Eleventh Report


London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Bill

Introduction

1.  This bill is about giving effect to the Government's commitment to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It establishes the Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA), provides for transport needs and enables restrictions to be made on advertising and trading in the vicinity of Olympic events. In particular, the bill is intended to enable obligations under the Host City Contract (explained at paragraph 7 of the Explanatory Notes) to be met.

2.  The delegated powers in the bill are explained in a memorandum for the Committee from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which is printed at Appendix 1 to this Report.

3.  We consider the powers to be appropriately delegated given the circumstances and subject to an appropriate level of scrutiny, but there are points we wish to mention concerning clauses 9, 19 and 25.

Clause 9 - Dissolution of the ODA

4.  Clause 9 enables the Secretary of State by order to make provision for the dissolution of the ODA. The order may, among other things, establish a body corporate and amend enactments by way of consequential, incidental or transitional provision. We would have expected the usual form of negative procedure (annulment) to have been applied here. Clause 9(7) provides only that the order shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before Parliament (without a requirement for approval). This formula is very rarely seen nowadays. But on the basis that it attracts the procedure in section 6 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 (cannot be made if disapproved within 40 days), it meets our concern that Parliament has a degree of both scrutiny and control over this order.

Clause 19 - Advertising

5.  Clause 19 enables the Secretary of State to make regulations subject to affirmative procedure "about advertising in the vicinity of London Olympic events". In making the regulations, the Secretary of State must aim to secure compliance with obligations of the Host City Contract and must have regard to requests or guidance from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The matters left to the regulations include:

·  the places concerned;

·  the nature of the advertising concerned;

·  the time during which restrictions will apply (but this must be no longer than is needed to secure compliance with the Host City Contract);

·  who, if anybody, is to be the body responsible for granting authorisation to advertise (but see paragraph 34 of the Memorandum for the likely position);

·  whether the authorization system will involve appeals, and if so to whom and on what grounds.

6.  In addition, the regulations:

·  override any consent to advertise given otherwise than under the regulations;

·  may disapply or modify other planning or advertising control legislation;

·  may apply or make provision similar to any enactment.

7.  The powers are accordingly very wide, but we accept that special considerations apply to legislating for events taking place only in one particular year. We consider the delegation acceptable in view of the affirmative procedure provided and bearing in mind in particular the following factors:

·  the restrictions will apply only in the vicinity of Olympic events;

·  the main policy purpose of the regulations is plain: to secure compliance with obligations already set out in the Host City Contract;

·  the duration is limited to securing compliance with those obligations;

·  there are specific arrangements in the bill to ensure those affected know about the regulations well in advance (clauses 23 and 24), including power for the ODA to give financial assistance to aid compliance.

8.  Clause 20(4) disapplies the hybrid instrument procedure for the regulations. The purpose of that procedure is to give those whose private interests may be specially affected the opportunity to petition against the regulations. But the House may wish to question why, in the light of this disapplication, organisations representative of those affected by the regulations have not been included among those required to be consulted on their content. The list in clause 20(3) is currently limited to authorities with responsibilities for planning, the ODA and the London Organising Committee.

Clause 25 - street trading

9.  Clause 25 enables the Secretary of State, to make regulations subject to affirmative procedure "about trading in the vicinity of London Olympic events" but this only applies (subsection (4)) to trading on a highway or places where the public have access and are not buildings (other than car parks).

10.  The power is in many respects similar in principle to that for controlling advertising. The considerations we mention in paragraph 7 above apply to the regulations about trading, and therefore we find clause 25 acceptable also. Our comments about the hybrid instrument procedure also apply to clause 25.

Conclusion

11.  We draw to the attention of the House the significant powers in clauses 19 and 25 (though we find them acceptable) and our comments on the disapplication of the hybrid instruments procedure in paragraphs 8 and 10 above.

Terrorism (Northern Ireland) Bill

12.  This bill extends Part 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, the significant features of which are explained at paragraphs 9 to 15 of the Explanatory Notes. There are two delegated powers in the bill, each explained in a memorandum from the Northern Ireland office (printed at Appendix 2 to this Report), which also gives a useful summary (at paragraphs 12 to 15) of the delegated powers already in the 2000 Act which will be continued by this bill. There is nothing in the delegated powers in this bill on which we wish to comment.


 
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