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Committee Mandates

Transport, Local Government and the Regions written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the mandate of the committee for a transparent system of harmonised rules for restrictions on heavy goods vehicles involved in international transport on designated roads is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr David Jamieson Mr David Jamieson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions

No such committee exists. In May 1998 the European Commission published a proposal for a Council directive on a transparent system of rules for driving restrictions on heavy goods vehicles involved in international transport on designated roads. The proposal made provision for an advisory committee composed of representatives of the member states and chaired by the Commission. The proposed directive was never adopted.

Together with member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council decision 1999/468/EC, to

"simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission".

As an obligation to this decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February (Com (2001) 783 Final). As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.

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