Regulatory Reform Committee press notice 10

Session 2006-07 7 June 2007

Publication of report: Government Response to the Committee's Second Special Report of Session 2006-07: Revised Standing Orders


A report today from the Regulatory Reform Committee welcomes the progress that has been made in reaching agreement with the Cabinet Office on the way that Legislative Reform Orders are to be scrutinised by the Committee. But the report also expresses disappointment that the Government has not agreed to give the Committee the power to arrange debates on legally or politically important draft Orders.

Committee Chairman, Andrew Miller, said:

"Our scrutiny of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill resulted in a much improved piece of legislation. Now, by looking closely at the Government's proposed Standing Orders for our Committee I am pleased to report that we have reached agreement with the Government on a range of points, such as extending the Committee's remit to allow it to undertake inquiries into matters relating to regulatory reform generally, retaining its scrutiny powers over subordinate provision orders and providing extra time for the Committee to consider revised draft Orders at second stage."

The report expresses disappointment that the Government has not been persuaded to give the Committee the power to arrange debates on draft orders that it deemed to be legally or politically important. The Committee also did not persuade the Government to remove all references in the Standing Orders to procedures for over-ruling the Committee's opposition to draft Orders if that opposition does not involve a statutory veto.

Andrew Miller added:

"The Government has given us an assurance that a recommendation we make for a debate on important draft Orders will be treated sympathetically. We welcome this assurance and will monitor how well it works in practice. I am pleased that the Committee will be given enhanced powers and a wider role. These will help the Committee in its work of scrutinising how well Departments are able to identify and remove unnecessary burdens."

Notes for Editors

The Committee's report is to be published as its Third Special Report of the 2006-07 Session at 2pm on 7 June 2007. It will be available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 610).

The text of the report will also be available on the Committee's website from 3.30 pm on the day of publication. (www.parliament.uk/regrefcom)

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 Government is expected to lay its first draft Legislative Reform Order shortly after the Standing Orders have been approved.

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