Clause 54 - Reasons for decisions

Water Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 16 October 2003.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 11:15, 16 October 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 91, in

clause 54, page 69, line 11, leave out from 'decision' to end of line 13.

The amendment would omit the words

''in such manner as it considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the matters to which the notice relates to the attention of persons likely to be interested.''

I did not understand those words, and I hope that the Minister can explain what they mean.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Environment and Agri-Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Clause 54 is intended to increase regulatory transparency, openness and certainty. It requires the authority, the Secretary of State and the National Assembly for Wales to publish and disseminate reasons for decisions taken in relation to

undertakers' conditions of appointment and the licences of licensed water suppliers. I would not have thought that that was controversial, because it is important to have information. It is necessary to prescribe a minimum acceptable level of publicity to ensure that the provision achieves its aim and continues to do so. The purpose of the amendment may be to promote a more general responsibility or approach to publishing decisions, but it would risk reducing the openness of the process by removing that part of the provision which forces a reasonable level of publication. The provision provides a minimum safeguard to ensure that the information is in the public domain.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I am grateful for the Minister's reply and I am very keen to withdraw my amendment so that we can move on to the next one. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment

Amendment, by leave withdrawn.

Clause 54 ordered to stand part of the Bill.