Committee Stage, House of Lords
7 January 2015
This briefing relates to Clauses 17 to 19 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill: Review of business appeals procedures. Clause 17 places a duty on a Minister of the Crown to appoint a Reviewer in respect of certain regulatory functions. Clause 18 empowers the Secretary of State to specify by regulations, subject to the affirmative procedure, to which regulatory functions Clause 17 applies. And Regulators are obliged to co-operate with the Reviewer and, under Clause 19, the government can issue guidance on how these measures are implemented.
While the Reviewer will not be able to influence the outcome of decisions in particular cases, we consider that the Commission’s exclusion from Clauses 17 to 19 should be expressly made on the face of this Bill for the sake of consistency with the Deregulation Bill.
The Commission welcomes the government’s assurance in November 2014 that it will not be included in the Ministerial Order listing the non-economic regulators that are to be subject to the growth duty provisions in the Deregulation Bill - as communicated by Lord Wallace in Parliament. However, the possible application of the growth duty to the Commission in the future risks our status as an NHRI and a National Equality Body and introduces legal uncertainty into the exercise of our functions. We therefore continue to support Lord McNally’s amendment which would exclude the Commission from the scope of the growth duty and which will be debated at Report Stage in January.
Last updated: 06 Jul 2016