Before I speak to the amendments in the group, I thank Sylvia Jackson and her colleagues on the Subordinate Legislation Committee for their work on the bill. It is a complicated bill, as everyone appreciates, and many of the reforms will create a framework that will be best developed in secondary legislation. That has led to a large number of enabling powers, given the size of the bill. I am therefore grateful to the committee for its recommendations, many of which I have agreed with. There can be no doubt that the bill is better for the involvement of that committee.
A recommendation at stage 1 was that all regulations for information disclosure made under section 198(1) should be subject to the affirmative procedure. The committee considered that
The Subordinate Legislation Committee looked again at the bill after stage 2 and agreed with me that some later uses of the power would not be substantial enough to merit regulations' being subject to the affirmative procedure, but it could not agree that every later use would be so minor that the negative procedure would be appropriate. Later changes would be significant if, for example, new types of body had to disclose information to the courts—if that were to be the case, the affirmative procedure might be best. Equally, later regulations might make only minor changes, such as revision of application forms, for which only the negative procedure would be sensible. The committee therefore thought that the regulations should be subject to an open procedure such that each time the power is used, ministers will choose between the affirmative and negative procedures. I now agree that the exceptional nature of the power does indeed merit an open procedure.
In fact, I will go further than the committee and state that the first regulations must still be subject to the affirmative procedure. Amendments 84 and 85 will give that effect. I considered whether it would be possible to accept amendments that were lodged by Dr Jackson and I am grateful to the committee for raising such an important point. On balance, however, it is important that the affirmative procedure be retained for the first set of regulations, so I hope that Dr Jackson will decide not to move her amendments but will instead support the Executive amendments on the basis that they meet—indeed, they go further than—the valid points that were made by the committee.
I move amendment 84.
Division number 20
For: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Arbuckle, Mr Andrew, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Canavan, Dennis, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Finnie, Ross, Fraser, Murdo, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gordon, Mr Charlie, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Monteith, Mr Brian, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Petrie, Dave, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean, Wallace, Mr Jim, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Against: Adam, Brian, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Frances, Fabiani, Linda, Fox, Colin, Gibson, Rob, Grahame, Christine, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hyslop, Fiona, Leckie, Carolyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Martin, Campbell, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Sheridan, Tommy, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinney, Mr John, Watt, Ms Maureen, White, Ms Sandra