Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport
and the Regions
LOCAL AUTHORITIES (EXECUTIVE ARRANGEMENTS) (ACCESS
TO INFORMATION) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2000 (S.I. 2000/3272)
1. The Committee has requested a memorandum on the
(1) "Explain the significance
of the square brackets in regulation 1(1)."
2. The square brackets round the year "2000"
have no significance and should have been omitted.
(2) "Is regulation 7(1)
intended to apply only to meetings of a "decision making
body" as defined in regulation 2? If so, why does it not
3. Regulation 7(1) is intended (as implied by the
reference to "the decision making body concerned") to
apply only to meetings of decision making bodies. The Department
accepts that this intention should have been made clearer by the
inclusion of a specific limitation to decision making bodies.
(3) "Explain the meaning
and purpose of regulation 7(1)(c)(ii) and the words following
4. The Department accepts that the meaning of regulation
7(1)(c)(ii) and the words following it are unclear. Unfortunately,
the indentation is incorrectly aligned, so that the words following
(c)(ii) appear to apply to the whole of 7(1), whereas they should
apply only to 7(1)(c)(i) and (ii). Also, the reference to a "decision
is made" in (c)(ii) should have been to a "decision
is to be made". The intention of 7(1)(c)(ii) is to require
the meeting (or part of it) to be in public where the person who
is to preside believes that at that meeting (or part) any decision
will be made relating to a matter covered by the notice procedure
in regulation 15.
(4) "As respects regulation
13, explain when an authority's first forward plan is required
to be prepared and have effect, and what imposes that requirement."
5. Where the authority has adopted executive arrangements
then key decisions must be included in the forward plan (regulations
13(2)) and 12(1)(c)). It is implicit therefore that the first
forward plan must be prepared and published when the authority
begins to adopt executive arrangements. It would however, make
matters clearer if the regulation were to state expressly when
the first forward plan is required.
(5) "Explain, in regulation
16, the phrase "has obtained agreement from....his agreement
6. The words 'his agreement' are superfluous and
should have been omitted.
(6) "In regulation 18(2),
is sub-paragraph (ii) intended to be sub-paragraph (b)?"
7. Yes. The second limb of (a)(i) should have been
(a)(ii) and (a)(ii) should have been (b).
(7) "Explain why regulation
22(4)(b) does not apply where a document is supplied to a newspaper
pursuant to regulation 5(2)."
8. The Department accepts that it would be logical
for regulation 22(4)(b) to apply to documents supplied to regulation
(8) "Regulation 23(1)(b)
makes it an offence for a person who has custody of a document,
without reasonable excuse, to refuse to supply a copy of the whole
or part of the document in accordance with regulation 22(2). Why
does it not apply also to a refusal to supply a copy of a document
to a newspaper in accordance with regulation 5(2) or 11(7)?"
9. The intention of regulation 23 is to mirror for
executive arrangements the position provided for by section 100H(4)
of the Local Government Act 1972 (c.70), inserted by the Local
Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 (c.43). The Department
accepts that to mirror the position provided for by section 100H(4)
a reference to regulations 5(2) and 11(7) should have been included
in regulation 23 and that an amendment is required.
10. It is regretted that this instrument was made
containing the errors identified above. The Department intends
to correct the errors by amending Regulations as soon as possible.
22 January 2001