Clause 11 introduces schedule 2 which makes consequential amendments to other legislation in relation to the NCS Trust. This is to ensure NCS is treated consistently with other similar bodies covered by legislation, such as the Public Records Act 1958.
Two minor and technical amendments to correct the drafting on extent and commencement provisions are in part 2 of the Bill. These two technicalities were not spotted in the other place, despite its reputation for scrutiny—I will try not to be too controversial there. It therefore falls to this House to be the more thorough Chamber and to make the corrections.
Clause 13 states that the extent of the Bill is England and Wales. Schedule 2, however, contains consequential amendments to four other Acts: the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Public Records Act 1958 and the Equality Act 2010. Schedule 2 adds the chair of the NCS Trust to the House of Commons Disqualification Act. It also adds the NCS Trust to the list of public bodies to which the other three Acts apply. All four provisions would cover the NCS Trust in more than just England and Wales. The Equality Act extends to England, Wales and Scotland; the other three are UK wide. Clause 13 needs to reflect this and it does not do so at the moment. Government amendment 1 corrects that. In reality, the NCS Trust is not able to operate in the whole of the UK because the extent of the NCS Bill is just England and Wales and it only applies in England. The amendment does not make a practical difference, but the drafting needs to be correct. The amendment qualifies clause 13 with the words:
“An amendment made by this Act has the same extent as the provision to which it relates (and this Part extends accordingly).”
Turning to clause 14 on “Commencement”, the Bill currently says that part 2—the general technical provisions at the back—and schedule 2, come into force the day the Act is passed. This means that the consequential amendments that add the new NCS Trust charter body to the Public Records Act, FOI Act and Equality Act et cetera come into force on Royal Assent. At this point, the new NCS Trust charter body will not necessarily exist. This is because it will only come into existence once the charter is granted, which will be some time after royal charter. In reality, the NCS Trust charter body will come into existence once the charter is granted. This will be some time after Royal Assent.
If we do not make this change, the new NCS Trust will not come into existence until after Royal Assent, but the FOI Act and others will include it straight away on Royal Assent. There is no sense in these Acts covering a body that does not yet exist. The amendment simply corrects that.