[Part II]

Part of Enterprise Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 8:00 pm on 23rd April 2002.

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Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry 8:00 pm, 23rd April 2002

The amendments relate to variation, for example. Amendment No. 174 relates to the variation of undertakings, and amendment No. 175 relates to applications for leave to act. At present, an anomaly—the result of an oversight—requires the Secretary of State to appear at a hearing for the variation of a competition disqualification undertaking or leave to act in respect of a competition disqualification order. We believe that the most appropriate people to attend such hearings are those who have the best knowledge of the cases. In competition cases, the OFT will be the relevant regulator, who will already be acting in other stages of the process. The amendment will ensure consistency and prevent the rather odd intervention of the Secretary of State in a stage of the process that should be carried out, as is envisaged in the rest of the Bill, by the OFT or sectoral regulator.