Welsh Affairs Committee Press Notice

29 April 2009: For Immediate Release

Pre-legislative scrutiny of the proposed Legislative Competence Order in Council on Environment

Call for written submissions

The Government of Wales Act 2006 introduced a process enabling the National Assembly for Wales further to enhance its law-making powers by a new procedure known as Legislative Competence Orders in Council (LCO).

At its meeting on 28 April, the Welsh Affairs Committee decided formally to accept the Secretary of State’s invitation to the Committee to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of the proposed National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Environment) Order 2009. The proposed Order, together with an explanatory memorandum by the Welsh Assembly Government, was published as a Command Paper by the Wales Office on 27 April (Cm 7608) and can be found on the internet at: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm76/7608/7608.pdf

The Committee would particularly welcome comments on the following aspects of the proposed Order -

1. Is the LCO request in the spirit and scope of the devolution settlement?

2. Is the use of the LCO mechanism in accordance with the Government of  Wales Act 2006?

3. Is the use of an LCO more appropriate than, for example, the use of  framework powers in a Westminster Bill?

4. The extent to which there is a demand for legislation on the matter(s) in question?

5. To what extent might the transfer of functions proposed have wider implications for the UK budget?

6. To what extent might the transfer of functions impact on reserved functions?

7. Are there any cross-border issues relating to the LCO? (Would legislation subsequently be required in England?)

8. Would the proposed LCO necessitate the formation or abolition of Welsh institutions and structures? If so, where does the legislative competence to exercise such changes lie?

Concurrent to the work of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, a detailed legal examination of the proposed Order will be conducted by the Constitution Committee, House of Lords.

The Committee asks for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines stated below by 28 May 2009.

Please note

Each submission should:

• begin with a short summary in bullet point form;

• have numbered paragraphs; and

• be in Word format or a rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible. Please do not send your submission as a PDF document.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to welshcom@parliament.uk and marked “Proposed Environment LCO”.  An additional paper copy should be sent to:

Welsh Affairs Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting  written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please supply a postal address so a copy of the Committee’s report can be sent to you upon publication.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

Please also note that:

• Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

• Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organization submitting it is specifically authorised.

• Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives.  If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. 

• Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.