Regulatory Reform (Standing Orders and Related Provisions)

– in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 4th July 2007.

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Ordered,

That the following repeals of Standing Orders, new Standing Orders, amendments to Standing Orders, and related provisions be made—

(A) Standing Order No. 18 (Consideration of draft regulatory reform orders) shall be repealed and the following Standing Order made—

Consideration of draft legislative reform orders

18.—(1) If the Regulatory Reform Committee has recommended under paragraphs (4) or (6) of Standing Order No. 141 (Regulatory Reform Committee) that a draft Order subject to the affirmative or super-affirmative procedure, laid before the House under Part 1 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, should be approved, and a motion is made by a Minister of the Crown to that effect, the question thereon shall—

(a) if the committee's recommendation was agreed without a division, be put forthwith; and

(b) if the committee's recommendation was agreed after a division, be put not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion.

(2) If the committee has recommended under paragraphs (4) or (6) of Standing Order No. 141 that a draft Order subject to the affirmative or super-affirmative procedure be not approved, no motion to approve the draft Order shall be made unless the House has previously resolved to disagree with the committee's report; the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion for such a resolution shall be put not later than three hours after their commencement; and the question on any motion thereafter made by a Minister of the Crown that the draft Order be approved shall be put forthwith.

(3) If the committee has recommended under paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 141 that a draft Order subject to the negative resolution procedure should not be made (and that the recommendation is not intended to operate section 16(4) of the Act), that recommendation shall be deemed to constitute notice of a motion under sub-paragraph (4)(a) of Standing Order No. 118 (Delegated Legislation Committees).

(4) Motions under paragraphs (1) or (2) of this order may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.

(B) Standing Order No. 141 (Regulatory Reform Committee) shall be repealed and the following Standing Order made—

Regulatory Reform Committee

141.—(1) There shall be a select committee, called the Regulatory Reform Committee, to examine and report on—

(i) every draft Order laid before the House under sections 14 or 18 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 ('the Act');

(ii) any Subordinate Provisions Order or draft of such an Order made or proposed to be made under sections 1 and 4 of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 (except those not made by a Minister of the Crown);

(iii) any matter arising from its consideration of such Orders or draft Orders; and

(iv) matters relating to regulatory reform.

(2) In the case of every draft Order referred to in paragraph (1)(i) above the committee shall consider the Minister's recommendation under section 15(1) of the Act as to the procedure which should apply to it and shall report to the House any recommendation under the Act that a different procedure should apply.

(3) In its consideration of draft Orders under Part 1 of the Act the committee shall include in each case, in addition to such other matters as it deems appropriate, whether provision in the draft Order—

(a) appears to make an inappropriate use of delegated legislation;

(b) serves the purpose of removing or reducing a burden, or the overall burdens, resulting directly or indirectly for any person from any legislation (in respect of a draft Order under section 1 of the Act);

(c) serves the purpose of securing that regulatory functions are exercised so as to comply with the regulatory principles, as set out in section 2(3) of the Act (in respect of a draft Order under section 2 of the Act);

(d) secures a policy objective which could not be satisfactorily secured by non-legislative means;

(e) has an effect which is proportionate to the policy objective;

(f) strikes a fair balance between the public interest and the interests of any person adversely affected by it;

(g) does not remove any necessary protection;

(h) does not prevent any person from continuing to exercise any right or freedom which that person might reasonably expect to continue to exercise;

(i) is not of constitutional significance;

(j) makes the law more accessible or more easily understood (in the case of provisions restating enactments);

(k) has been the subject of, and takes appropriate account of, adequate consultation;

(l) gives rise to an issue under such criteria for consideration of statutory instruments laid down in paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)) as are relevant;

(m) appears to be incompatible with any obligation resulting from membership of the European Union:

Provided that in the case of draft Orders under section 20 of the Act, those criteria which are not relevant to provisions made pursuant to section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 need not be taken into consideration in relation to those provisions.

(4) In relation to every draft Order laid under section 14 of the Act subject to the negative or affirmative procedure under sections 16 or 17 of the Act, the committee shall report its recommendation whether the draft Order should be made (in the case of the negative procedure) or approved (in the case of the affirmative procedure), indicating in the case of the latter whether the recommendation was agreed without a division.

(5) In relation to every draft Order laid under section 14 of the Act subject to the super-affirmative procedure under section 18 of the Act, the committee shall report its recommendation as to whether—

(a) the draft Order should be proceeded with unamended under section 18(3) of the Act; or

(b) a revised draft Order should be laid under section 18(7) of the Act; or

(c) no statement under section 18(3) or revised draft Order under section 18(7) should be laid.

(6) In relation to every draft Order or revised draft Order subject to the super-affirmative procedure being proceeded with under section 18(3) or 18(7) of the Act, the committee shall report its recommendation whether the draft Order or revised draft Order should be approved, indicating in the case of draft Orders which it recommends should be approved whether its recommendation was agreed without a division; and in respect of such draft Orders or revised draft Orders the committee shall consider in each case all such matters set out in paragraph (3) of this Order as are relevant and the extent to which the Minister concerned has had regard to any resolution or report of the committee or to any other representations made during the period for parliamentary consideration.

(7) It shall be an instruction to the committee considering draft Orders being proceeded with under section 18(3) or 18(7) that it report not more than fifteen sitting days (in the case of an order under section 18(3)) or twenty-five sitting days (in the case of an order under section 18(7)) after the relevant statement is laid.

(8) In relation to every draft Order or revised draft Order, the committee shall report any recommendation under section 16(4) of the Act that the draft Order be not made, or under sections 17(3), 18(5) or 18(9) of the Act that no further proceedings be taken in relation to the draft Order.

(9) In its consideration of any Subordinate Provisions Order under paragraph (1)(ii) of this order, the committee shall in each case consider whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the grounds laid down in paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)); and if the committee is of the opinion that any such Order or draft Order should be annulled, or, as the case may be, should not be approved, they shall report that opinion to the House.

(10) The committee shall consist of fourteen members; and, unless the House otherwise orders, each Member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.

(11) The committee shall have power—

(a) to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, and to report from time to time;

(b) to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference; and

(c) to appoint a sub-committee, of which the quorum shall be two, which shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and to adjourn from place to place.

(12) The committee and the sub-committee shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker.

(13) The committee and the sub-committee shall have power to invite Members of the House who are not members of the committee to attend meetings at which witnesses are being examined in relation to matters within paragraphs (1) (i) to (iii) and such Members may, at the discretion of the chairman, ask questions of those witnesses; but no Member not being a member of the committee shall otherwise take

part in the proceedings of the committee or sub-committee, or be counted in the quorum.

(14) It shall be an instruction to the committee that before reporting on a draft Order it shall afford to any government department concerned an opportunity of furnishing orally or in writing to it or to the sub-committee appointed by it such explanations as the department thinks fit, except to the extent that the committee considers that it is not reasonably practicable to do so without risking the opportunity for effective exercise of a function conferred on it under section 15, 16, 17 or 18 of the Act.

(C) Standing Orders No. 98 (Scottish Grand Committee (delegated legislation)), No. 115 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (delegated legislation)), and No. 118 (Delegated Legislation Committees) shall be amended by leaving out the words 'regulatory reform order' and inserting the words 'legislative reform order'; and Standing Order No. 151 (Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)) shall be amended by leaving out the words from 'under' in line 21 to 'and' in line 24 and inserting the words 'Part 1 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, or any subordinate provisions order made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001,'.

(D) Any draft regulatory reform orders laid under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 which are currently before the House shall be considered by the Regulatory Reform Committee appointed under this Order and by the House as if they were draft orders, subject to the super-affirmative procedure, laid under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006.

(E) Notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 121 (Nomination of select committees), those Members of this House who were members of the Regulatory Reform Committee before the passing of this Order shall be the members of the Regulatory Reform Committee appointed under paragraph (B) above; and for the purposes of Standing Order No. 122A (Term limits for chairmen of select committees), the Regulatory Reform Committee established under paragraph (B) shall be the same committee as that established before the passing of this Order. —[Tony Cunningham.]