ELECTRICITY (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS)
Letter from Lord Sainsbury of Turville,
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science at the Department
of Trade and Industry, to the Chairman
I am writing in response to the 12th report of the
Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform, for
which I am most grateful.
As the Committee is aware, the Government's intention
in respect of Clause 2(2) is that the power that it provides should
be as a 'tidying' provision to remove provisions that no longer
apply, rather than a tool to remove provisions that are still
'live' and have a continuing effect. We believe Part 2 of the
Electricity Act to now be of limited practical effect. However,
we have stated that we would want to have an opportunity to consult
with industry and to check whether any of the provisions of Part
2 are still 'live'.
The Committee expressed concern that the power in
Clause 2(2) could potentially be used to repeal a provision "which
is both 'live' and significant". It therefore concluded that
there ought to be an opportunity for debate, suggesting the affirmative
procedure would be more appropriate than the negative procedure
that is presently provided for in Clause 2(4).
Although we do not expect any future repeals under
this provision to be significant or controversial, we understand
the view expressed by the Committee and recognise that Parliament
may like to have an opportunity to debate the effect of any potential
It is for this reason that I intend to agree to the
recommendation of the Committee in this respect and to the Bill
being amended accordingly.
I am copying this letter to Baroness Miller and Lord
Ezra and also placing a copy in the Libraries of the House.
14 March 2003