Clause 62

Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 19 June 2008.

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Offences under subordinate legislation

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Employment Relations and Postal Affairs), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The clause extends the existing powers of the Minister to create criminal offences in secondary legislation under the powers to create alternative civil sanctions in this part of the Bill. It is important that clause 62 is read alongside the list of enactments in schedule 7. Subsection (4) limits the scope of the clause to the secondary legislation that can be made under the list of enactments in schedule 7. That means, for example, that a Minister creating, amending or consolidating criminal offences in secondary legislation made under one of those listed enactments may also provide for the offence to be sanctioned using the fixed monetary penalty.

Taken with clauses 36 to 38, and schedules 5 and 6, the clause will ensure that all relevant offences, whether created in primary or secondary legislation, can be dealt with through a civil sanction. That is important because it helps to ensure consistency across a particular regulatory regime.

The clause allows Ministers to confer only those powers in part 3. All the substantive restrictions will apply when the extended powers are used—for example, in relation to devolution.

Before making an order, the Minister must be satisfied that a regulator will exercise the powers in a manner that is in line with the principles of good regulation—the Committee will probably not want me to list them again. That is provided for in clause 66, to which we will come shortly.

Clause 62(3) provides that any order made under an enactment in schedule 7 giving the regulator access to the new civil sanctions will be subject to the affirmative procedure. That matches the parliamentary procedure for orders made under clause 36.

The clause is intended to ensure that the option that we are creating to use civil sanctions is available across primary and secondary legislation and across the regulatory regime.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 62 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 7 agreed to.