Clause 39 - Delegation of power to designate

Part of Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:45 pm on 11 January 2005.

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Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) 6:45, 11 January 2005

The amendment is not realistic. SOCA will have 4,500 staff and although not all of them will be designated powers, a sizeable number will be. It is impractical to expect designation to be made only by one or two people, which is why we cannot support the amendment. Given that the task is important, we believe that it should be discharged by someone of sufficient seniority, which is why we included in subsection (2) the power of the Home Secretary to specify the grade of the employee below which the task cannot be delegated. SOCA is still developing its grading structure and human resource function, so I cannot say now what grade we have in mind. However, I assure the hon. Gentleman that it will be high up the management line.

In addition, there is no provision in the Bill for a deputy director general. I mentioned earlier that the next management level down from the director general will consist of four director posts, so the amendments would be even more unworkable. I invite the hon. Gentleman to withdraw them.