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Clause 51 - Enforcement of information notice

Part of Civil Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 6th March 2012.

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Photo of John Woodcock John Woodcock Shadow Minister (Transport) 12:30 pm, 6th March 2012

These amendments are intended to probe, as is becoming customary this morning. Amendments 52 and 53 probe the penalties for those who fail to comply with a CAA request, by notice, to provide information or documentation. I hope that the Minister will take the opportunity to explain why the level for a fixed penalty is set at £2 million in subsection (4). We suggest, with no particular rationale, that that should change to £3 million. We also suggest that the daily penalty of £100,000 should be changed to £150,000. That gives the Minister the opportunity to explain— I am sure she is looking forward to it—why she set those levels, and the rationale behind them.

Amendment 54 also relates to penalties for those failing to comply with a CAA request to provide information or documentation. Subsection (9) gives the Secretary of State the ability, by regulations, to replace the amount at which a fixed penalty can be set, either for a daily penalty or a fixed penalty. The amendment would prevent the Secretary of State being able to undermine the CAA’s ability to penalise non-compliance with its notices, if the Secretary of State was minded to choose to reduce the level of the penalty.

If the regulating power could only increase a penalty, it would be used only if the CAA’s maximum penalty was deemed insufficient by the Secretary of State. Can the Minister envisage any situation in which she would seek to reduce the penalty? If not, why not simply accept our amendment?