Clause 22 - Policy for licensing and regulation

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 16th November 2004.

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Photo of Malcolm Moss Malcolm Moss Shadow Minister, Home Affairs 5:00 pm, 16th November 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 156, in

clause 22, page 10, line 22, at end add—

'(6) In performing their duties for the purposes of this section, the Commission must have regard in all cases, to—

(a) the principles under which regulatory activities should be transparent, accountable, proportionate, consistent and targeted only at cases in which action is needed, and

(b) any other principles appearing to the Commission to represent best regulatory practice.

(7) In reviewing their functions under this section it shall be the duty of the Commission—

(a) to have regard to the extent to which the licensing objectives are already achieved, or are likely to be achieved, by effective self-regulation or co-regulation; and

(b) in the light of that, to consider to what extent it would be appropriate to remove or reduce regulatory burdens imposed by the Commission.

(8) In determining whether for the purposes of this section the encouraging of procedures for self-regulation or co-regulation is desirable and effective the Commission must consider, in particular—

(a) whether those procedures are administered by a person who is sufficiently independent of the persons who may be subjected to the procedures,

(b) whether a person represents an existing established means of regulation, and

(c) whether adequate arrangements are in force for funding the activities of that person.'.

The amendment would introduce a new subsection (6) to clause 22. The wording used is identical to that used in the Communications Act 2003 for the duties in that Act relating to Ofcom. We suggest that the gambling commission should have the same very onerous regulatory requirements placed on it as those on Ofcom. The proposed subsection would place a duty on the commission to follow the Better Regulation Task Force's five principles on better regulation. That would be an important addition to its responsibilities under the Bill.