New Clause 1 — Independent advocacy: report

Part of Prohibition of Unpaid Internships – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 13th May 2014.

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‘(1) Within three months of Royal Assent of this Act the Secretary of State must publish a report detailing how—

(a) better outcomes for consumers of public services; and

(b) more efficient decision-making processes,

will be ensured.

(2) A report under subsection (1) will consider—

(a) how each public service provider will ensure a formalised approach to ensuring independent advocacy is available for consumers at an early stage in the decision-making process for the provision of public services;

(b) the nature of an independent advocate to participate in this process, and the definition of independence, including how this could be supported by the conduct of any service provider;

(c) the effect of a breach in a consumer’s statutory rights as set out by this Act when a direct commissioning contract is in place;

(d) what formal status any independent advice provided will have in relation to decision-making, in particular, in instances where a public service continues to act contrary to such information and formal legal redress is sought;

(e) the role of the public sector ombudsman services in overseeing any such approach under paragraph (a);

(f) how a public service provider will report on their formalised approach under paragraph (a); and

(g) how the approach under paragraph (a) would ensure all consumers of services covered by this Act have access to a licensed alternative redress mechanism.

(3) For the purposes of this section a public service is any provided to the consumer directly by—

(a) a Government department;

(b) a local or public authority; or

(c) a trader acting on behalf of these organisations.

(4) For the purposes of this section a person shall be a consumer of public services under a “direct commissioning contract” when they enter any—

(a) agreement;

(b) contract;

(c) consumer notice; or

(d) proposed contract,

for receiving a service which the person has a direct role in commissioning.’.—(Stella Creasy.)

Brought up, and read the First time.