Regulatory Reform Committee Press Notice

PN 2006-07 (5) 14 March 2007

PUBLICATION OF REPORT

Revised Standing Orders

The Regulatory Reform Committee has published a report on its Revised Standing Orders

The text of the report is available on the Committee's website. (www.parliament.uk/regrefcom)

On 30 October 2006, the Government published its first draft of the Standing Orders to govern the scrutiny of draft Orders that will be laid under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act (LRRA) 2006. The Regulatory Reform Committee published its views on those draft Standing Orders in its special report on 15 December 2006. The Government's response to that special report was provided by Pat McFadden, the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, in his letter (dated 25 January).

In publishing the Government's response, the Committee has also now set out how it would like the Minister's latest version of the Standing Orders to be amended. The Committee's main recommendation is that it be given the power to refer draft Orders to debate when it considers they warrant wider consideration, regardless of whether or not it divided. This reaffirms a previous recommendation made by the Committee and reflects its concern that where it unanimously approves a draft Order, all Members could still be given an opportunity to consider the draft Order if it was considered to be of sufficient political or legal significance.

The Committee acknowledges that progress has been made in resolving the differences between the Government and the Committee. For example, the Committee welcomes:

  • the removal from the proposed Standing Orders of the detailed provisions relating to the over-turning of the Committee's veto;

  • the Minister's acceptance of its recommendation that Subordinate Provisions Orders continue to be scrutinised by the Committee;

  • the Minister's acceptance of the Committee's previous recommendation that the wording in proposed Standing Order No. 141(3)(b) and (c) (the scrutiny criteria) be changed from the subjective to the more objective;

  • the extra time made available for the second stage scrutiny when draft Orders are revised; and

  • the commitment that a review into the working of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 would be undertaken within five years.

Notes for Editors

The Regulatory Reform Committee has the task of examining and reporting to the House on every document containing proposals laid before the House under section 6 of the Regulatory Reform Act and every draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of that Act. The Committee also oversees the operation of the regulatory reform procedure.

Since the passage of the Regulatory Reform Act, more than 30 regulatory reform orders have been made. Copies of all proposals and draft Orders are available on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/reform/orders/index.asp

The Members of the Committee are:

Andrew Miller , Labour , Ellesmere Port & Neston (Chairman)
Gordon Banks , Labour , Ochil and South Perthshire
Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat, Solihull
Mr James Gray, Conservative, North Wiltshire
Stephen Hammond , Conservative, Wimbledon
John Hemming, Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley
Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Labour, Gateshead East & Washington West
Mr Stewart Jackson, Conservative, Peterborough
Dr Doug Naysmith, Labour Co/op, Bristol North West
Mr Jamie Reed, Labour, Copeland
Alison Seabeck, Labour, Plymouth, Devonport
Mr Andrew Slaughter, Labour , Ealing, Acton & Shepherd's Bush
Ms Angela C Smith, Labour Co/op, Sheffield, Hillsborough
Mr Anthony Steen, Conservative, Totnes

For further information on the work of the Committee, contact Mick Hillyard, Clerk of the Committee (020 7219 2830); or see the Committee's website www.parliament.uk/regrefcom