New Clause 13

Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 24th January 2008.

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Avoidance of unreasonable burdens in exercise of regulatory powers

‘(1) The Secretary of State may publish guidance about steps which regulatory authorities may take in exercising relevant powers with a view to avoiding the imposition of unreasonable burdens on those in respect of whom the powers are exercisable.

(2) “Regulatory authorities” means—

(a) the Commission, and

(b) such other bodies as may be prescribed.

(3) A body may not be prescribed under subsection (2)(b) unless it has functions relating to the provision of health or social care.

(4) “Relevant powers” means powers conferred by or under an enactment to—

(a) carry out inspections, or

(b) require the provision of information,

but, in relation to a body prescribed under subsection (2)(b), such powers are “relevant powers” only so far as they are exercisable in respect of a person in respect of whom the Commission has relevant powers.

(5) The steps mentioned in subsection (1) might include for example—

(a) co-operating with other regulatory authorities and co-ordinating the exercise of relevant powers,

(b) sharing information or the results of inspections, and

(c) seeking to obtain information from other sources before exercising a relevant power to require the provision of that information.

(6) In exercising relevant powers, regulatory authorities must have regard to any guidance published under subsection (1).

(7) Nothing in this section is intended to limit the scope of a relevant power or affect a person’s obligation to comply with a requirement imposed in the exercise of such a power.

(8) In this section—

(a) “inspections” includes inspections of persons, premises or the carrying on of activities,

(b) a reference to a power to carry out inspections includes a reference to any power which is ancillary to that power (such as a power to enter premises or to require assistance), and

(c) a reference to a power to require the provision of information includes a reference to a power to require the production of documents, records or other items, a power to require the making of reports and a power to require explanations.’.—[Mr. Bradshaw.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.