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Higher Education and Research Bill - Report (1st Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 6th March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 7:00 pm, 6th March 2017

My Lords, it is important that regulations that are made pursuant to powers are subject to the appropriate level of parliamentary scrutiny. We have thought very carefully about such powers in this Bill, particularly in the light of the report of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee. The government amendments in this group implement three of the recommendations that the DPRRC has made.

Specifically, Amendment 197 makes regulations under Clause 10, prescribing descriptions of provider to whom the transparency condition applies, subject to the affirmative procedure. Our policy intent, as set out in the White Paper Success as a Knowledge Economy, published in May 2016, is that a transparency condition will apply to approved and approved fee-cap providers on the register of higher education providers.

Amendment 198 makes regulations under Clause 38, prescribing descriptions of provider who will be eligible to receive OfS funding in the form of grants, loans or other payments, subject to the affirmative procedure. Subjecting these regulations to the affirmative procedure adds to the oversight Parliament has, compared with the current legislative arrangements.

Amendments 45, 200 and 201 ensure that the first set of regulations prescribing the higher, basic and floor amounts for the purposes of determining providers’ fee limits, will be subject to the affirmative procedure.

I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Fookes, and the members of the DPRRC for their thorough consideration of the Bill’s powers. I beg to move.