Clause 24 - Orders and regulations

Private Security Industry Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 1st May 2001.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

The purpose of the clause is clear, but its interpretation might not be. Will the Minister confirm that it does not provide in every case, perhaps because it is not intended to do so, an answer to the question whether the order or regulation about which there is debate, inquiry or controversy will be subject to the affirmative procedure? Does he accept that the clause admits of different treatment of different orders, without advance notice of it? It enables the Government to decide the chosen format.

Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Minister of State, Home Office

Most of the statutory instruments that will need to or may be introduced will be subject to the negative resolution procedure. The exceptions are shown in subsection (3). The first exception is commencement orders made under clause 26(2). Commencement orders are not subject to negative or affirmative resolution. Secondly, orders made in relation to paragraphs 1 or 7 of schedule 2, which we shall shortly debate, will be subject to affirmative resolution.

An order made under paragraph 1(2) of schedule 2 could bring any activity conducted by the private security industry within the definition of

``activities of a security operative'', which are regulated by the Bill. For example, the Secretary of State could make an order adding the activities of groups such as alarm installers or locksmiths to the list of activities for which a licence will be required from the SIA. That is the kind of approach that my right hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, South has advocated throughout our debates.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

Is the Minister saying that such a proposal, which could perfectly reasonably arise later and might well not be anticipated now, would be subject to a 90-minute debate on the Floor of the House?

Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Minister of State, Home Office

Such a proposal will be subject to the affirmative resolution, and therefore to those procedures.

An order made under paragraph 7(2) of schedule 2 would allow the Secretary of State to subject certain activities to the additional controls that the Bill currently proposes for only wheelclampers and door supervisors at pubs and clubs. Such an order would require those working in designated activities to be licensed regardless of whether they were employed in-house or under contract.

We believe that the orders under paragraphs 1 and 7 of schedule 2 are significant enough, in extending the powers of the Bill, to require the affirmative procedure. That is why they are excepted from the general requirement of negative procedure as set out in the clause. I hope that that is clear, and I urge that the clause stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 24 ordered to stand part of the Bill.