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A

BILL

[AS AMENDED IN PUBLIC BILL COMMITTEE]

TO

Confer powers on Ministers of the Crown in relation to certain public bodies
and offices; to confer powers on Welsh Ministers in relation to environmental
and other public bodies; to abolish regional development agencies; to make
provision about the funding of Sianel Pedwar Cymru; to make provision
about the powers of bodies established under the National Heritage Act 1983
to form companies; to make provision about amendment of Schedule 1 to the
Superannuation Act 1972; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 General order-making powers

Powers of Ministers

1 Power to abolish

(1) 5A Minister may by order abolish a body or office specified in Schedule 1.

(2) An order under subsection (1) may include provision transferring functions
from the body or office being abolished to an eligible person.

(3) In this Act, “eligible person” means—

(a) a Minister, the Scottish Ministers, a Northern Ireland department or the
10Welsh Ministers,

(b) any other person exercising public functions,

(c) a company limited by guarantee,

(d) a community interest company, or

(e) a body of trustees or other unincorporated body of persons.

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2 Power to merge

(1) A Minister may by order merge any group of bodies or offices specified in
Schedule 2.

(2) In this section, to “merge” a group means—

(a) 5to abolish all the bodies or offices in the group, create a new body
corporate or office and transfer some or all of the functions of the
abolished bodies or offices to the new one, or

(b) to abolish all but one of the bodies or offices in the group and to transfer
some or all of the functions of the abolished bodies or offices to the
10remaining one.

(3) An order under subsection (1) may include provision to transfer a function
from a body or office being abolished to an eligible person not included in the
group.

3 Power to modify constitutional arrangements

(1) 15A Minister may by order modify the constitutional arrangements of a body or
office specified in Schedule 3.

(2) In this Act, references to the constitutional arrangements of a body include
matters relating to—

(a) the name of the body;

(b) 20the chair of the body (including qualifications and procedures for
appointment and functions);

(c) members of the body (including the number of members, qualifications
and procedures for appointment and functions);

(d) employees of the body exercising functions on its behalf (including
25qualifications and procedures for appointment and functions);

(e) the body’s powers to employ staff;

(f) governing procedures and arrangements (including the role and
membership of committees and sub-committees);

(g) reports and accounts;

(h) 30the extent to which the body is accountable to Ministers;

(i) the extent to which the body exercises functions on behalf of the Crown.

(3) In this Act, references to the constitutional arrangements of an office include
matters relating to—

(a) the name of the office;

(b) 35appointment of the office-holder (including qualifications and
procedures for appointment);

(c) the office-holder’s powers to employ staff;

(d) reports and accounts;

(e) the extent to which the office-holder is accountable to Ministers;

(f) 40the extent to which the office-holder exercises functions on behalf of the
Crown.

4 Power to modify funding arrangements

(1) A Minister may by order modify the funding arrangements of a body or office
specified in Schedule 4.

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(2) The consent of the Treasury is required to make an order under this section.

(3) In this Act, references to modifying the funding arrangements of a body or
office include—

(a) modifying the extent to which it is funded by a Minister;

(b) 5conferring power on the body, or the office-holder, to charge fees for
the exercise of a function (and to determine their amount).

5 Power to modify or transfer functions

(1) A Minister may by order—

(a) modify the functions of a body, or the holder of an office, specified in
10Schedule 5, or

(b) transfer a function of such a person to an eligible person.

(2) In this Act, references to modifying the functions of a person include—

(a) conferring a function on the person;

(b) abolishing a function of the person;

(c) 15changing the purpose or objective for which the person exercises a
function;

(d) changing the conditions under which the person exercises a function.

6 Consequential provision etc

(1) An order under sections 1 to 5 may make consequential, supplementary,
20incidental or transitional provision, or savings.

(2) Where an order under section 1, 2 or 5(1)(b) transfers functions, the power in
subsection (1) includes power to make consequential or supplementary
provision—

(a) to modify functions of the transferor or transferee;

(b) 25to modify the constitutional or funding arrangements of the transferor
or transferee.

(3) Where an order under section 5(1)(a) modifies functions of a body or office-
holder, the power in subsection (1) includes power to make consequential or
supplementary provision to modify the constitutional or funding
30arrangements of the body or office.

(4) The consent of the Treasury is required to make provision by virtue of
subsection (2)(b) or (3) modifying funding arrangements.

(5) An order under sections 1 to 5 may include provision repealing the entry in the
Schedule by virtue of which the order was made.

35Powers of Ministers: supplementary

7 Restrictions on Ministerial powers

(1) The modification or transfer of a function by an order under sections 1 to 5
must not prevent it (to the extent that it continues to be exercisable) from being
exercised independently of Ministers in any of the following cases.

(2) 40Those cases are—

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(a) where the function is a judicial function (whether or not exercised by a
court or a tribunal);

(b) where the function’s exercise involves enforcement activities in relation
to obligations imposed on a Minister;

(c) 5where the function’s exercise otherwise constitutes the exercise of
oversight or scrutiny of the actions of a Minister.

(3) Provision made by an order under sections 1 to 5 must be proportionate to the
reasons for the order.

(4) In this section “enforcement activities” means—

(a) 10the bringing of legal proceedings or the provision of assistance with the
bringing of legal proceedings;

(b) the carrying out of an investigation with a view to bringing legal
proceedings or to providing such assistance; or

(c) the taking of steps preparatory to any of those things.

8 15Purpose and conditions

(1) A Minister may make an order under sections 1 to 5 only if the Minister
considers that the order serves the purpose of improving the exercise of public
functions, having regard to—

(a) efficiency,

(b) 20effectiveness,

(c) economy, and

(d) securing appropriate accountability to Ministers.

(2) A Minister may make an order under those sections only if the Minister
considers that—

(a) 25the order does not remove any necessary protection, and

(b) the order does not prevent any person from continuing to exercise any
right or freedom which that person might reasonably expect to
continue to exercise.

9 Devolution

(1) 30An order under sections 1 to 5 requires the consent of the Scottish Parliament
to make provision—

(a) which would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish
Parliament if it were contained in an Act of that Parliament, or

(b) which modifies the functions of the Scottish Ministers.

(2) 35Consent is not required under subsection (1)(b) in relation to provision
abolishing a function of the Scottish Ministers which relates to a body
abolished under section 1 or 2.

(3) An order under sections 1 to 5 requires the consent of the Northern Ireland
Assembly to make provision—

(a) 40which would be within the legislative competence of the Northern
Ireland Assembly if it were contained in an Act of the Assembly, or

(b) which modifies the functions of a person within subsection (4).

(4) The persons referred to in subsection (3)(b) are—

(a) the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland;

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(b) a Northern Ireland Minister;

(c) the Attorney General for Northern Ireland;

(d) a Northern Ireland department;

(e) a person exercising public functions in relation to a transferred matter
5(within the meaning of the Northern Ireland Act 1998).

(5) Consent is not required under subsection (3)(a) in relation to any provision if—

(a) a Bill for an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly containing the
provision would require the consent of the Secretary of State under
section 8 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and

(b) 10and the provision does not affect, other than incidentally, a transferred
matter (within the meaning of that Act).

(6) An order under sections 1 to 5 requires the consent of the National Assembly
for Wales to make provision which would be within the legislative competence
of the Assembly if it were contained in an Act of the Assembly.

(7) 15An order under sections 1 to 5 requires the consent of the Welsh Ministers to
make provision not falling within subsection (6)

(a) which modifies the functions of the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister
for Wales or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government,
or

(b) 20which could be made by any of those persons.

(8) In subsection (7), references to a function do not include—

(a) a function of giving consent to, or being consulted about, the exercise of
a function by a Minister, or

(b) a function relating to the constitutional arrangements of a body or
25office.

10 Consultation

(1) A Minister proposing to make an order under sections 1 to 5 must consult—

(a) the body or the holder of the office to which the proposal relates,

(b) such other persons as appear to the Minister to be representative of
30interests substantially affected by the proposal,

(c) the Scottish Ministers, if the proposal relates to any matter, so far as
applying in or as regards Scotland, in relation to which the Scottish
Ministers exercise functions (and where the consent of the Scottish
Parliament is not required under section 9),

(d) 35a Northern Ireland department, if the proposal relates to any matter, so
far as applying in or as regards Northern Ireland, in relation to which
the department exercises functions (and where the consent of the
Northern Ireland Assembly is not required under section 9),

(e) the Welsh Ministers, if the proposal relates to any matter, so far as
40applying in or as regards Wales, in relation to which the Welsh
Ministers exercise functions (and where the consent of the National
Assembly for Wales or the Welsh Ministers is not required under
section 9),

(f) where the functions affected by the proposal relate to the
45administration of justice, the Lord Chief Justice, and

(g) such other persons as the Minister considers appropriate.

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(2) If, as a result of consultation under subsection (1), it appears to the Minister
appropriate to change the whole or part of the proposal, the Minister must
carry out such further consultation with respect to the changes as seems
appropriate.

(3) 5It is immaterial for the purposes of this section whether consultation is carried
out before or after the commencement of this section.

(4) Subsection (1)(a) does not apply to a body with no members or an office which
is vacant; and, where a body is consulted under that provision, any vacancy in
its membership is immaterial.

11 10Procedure

(1) If after consultation under section 10 the Minister considers it appropriate to
proceed with the making of an order under sections 1 to 5, the Minister may lay
before Parliament—

(a) a draft order, and

(b) 15an explanatory document.

(2) The explanatory document must—

(a) introduce and give reasons for the order,

(b) explain why the Minister considers that—

(i) the order serves the purpose in section 8(1), and

(ii) 20the conditions in section 8(2)(a) and (b) are satisfied,

(c) if the order contains provision made by virtue of more than one entry
in Schedules 1 to 5, explain why the Minister considers it appropriate
for it to do so, and

(d) contain a summary of representations received in the consultation.

(3) 25The Minister may not act under subsection (1) before the end of the period of
twelve weeks beginning with the day on which the consultation began.

(4) Subject as follows, if after the expiry of the 40-day period the draft order laid
under subsection (1) is approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament,
the Minister may make an order in the terms of the draft order.

(5) 30The procedure in subsections (6) to (9) shall apply to the draft order instead of
the procedure in subsection (4) if—

(a) either House of Parliament so resolves within the 30-day period, or

(b) a committee of either House charged with reporting on the draft order
so recommends within the 30-day period and the House to which the
35recommendation is made does not by resolution reject it within that
period.

(6) The Minister must have regard to—

(a) any representations,

(b) any resolution of either House of Parliament, and

(c) 40any recommendations of a committee of either House of Parliament
charged with reporting on the draft order,

made during the 60-day period with regard to the draft order.

(7) If after the expiry of the 60-day period the draft order is approved by a
resolution of each House of Parliament, the Minister may make an order in the
45terms of the draft order.

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(8) If after the expiry of the 60-day period the Minister wishes to proceed with the
draft order but with material changes, the Minister may lay before
Parliament—

(a) a revised draft order, and

(b) 5a statement giving a summary of the changes proposed.

(9) If the revised draft order is approved by a resolution of each House of
Parliament, the Minister may make an order in the terms of the revised draft
order.

(10) For the purposes of this section an order is made in the terms of a draft order
10or revised draft order if it contains no material changes to its provisions.

12 Time limits

Any entry in Schedules 1 to 5 ceases to have effect at the end of the period of
five years beginning with the day on which it came into force (without
affecting any order already made by virtue of that entry).

15Powers of Welsh Ministers

13 Powers relating to environmental bodies

(1) The Welsh Ministers may by order modify—

(a) the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales (“the CCW”),

(b) the Welsh devolved functions of the Environment Agency,

(c) 20the Welsh devolved functions of the Forestry Commissioners, or

(d) the functions of a Welsh Flood and Coastal Committee.

(2) The Welsh Ministers may by order transfer any function of the CCW to—

(a) a new body,

(b) the Welsh Ministers,

(c) 25the Environment Agency or the Forestry Commissioners, or

(d) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions.

(3) The Welsh Ministers may by order transfer any Welsh devolved function of the
Environment Agency or the Forestry Commissioners to—

(a) a new body,

(b) 30the Welsh Ministers,

(c) the CCW, or

(d) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions.

(4) The Welsh Ministers may by order transfer any function of a Welsh Flood and
Coastal Committee to—

(a) 35a new body,

(b) the Welsh Ministers, or

(c) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions.

(5) The Welsh Ministers may by order transfer any function of theirs relating to the
environment to—

(a) 40a new body,

(b) the CCW, or

(c) the Environment Agency or the Forestry Commissioners.

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(6) The Welsh Ministers may by order transfer any Welsh devolved function
relating to the environment from the person whose function it is to—

(a) a new body,

(b) the CCW, or

(c) 5the Environment Agency or the Forestry Commissioners.

(7) The Welsh Ministers may by order establish a body corporate for the purposes
of this section; and in this section references to a “new body” are to any body
so established.

(8) In this section “Welsh Flood and Coastal Committee” means a Regional Flood
10and Coastal Committee established under section 22(1)(c) of the Flood and
Water Management Act 2010 for a region wholly or mainly in Wales.

(9) The Welsh Ministers must consult the Secretary of State before making an
order under subsection (1) or (4) relating to a Welsh Flood and Coastal
Committee for a region not wholly in Wales.

14 15Powers relating to other bodies

(1) The Welsh Ministers may by order abolish any of the following—

(a) an agricultural dwelling-house advisory committee for an area in, or
consisting of, Wales;

(b) an agricultural wages committee for an area in, or consisting of, Wales;

(c) 20the Environment Protection Advisory Committee established pursuant
to section 12(6) of the Environment Act 1995 (Wales);

(d) the regional and local fisheries advisory committee established
pursuant to section 13(5) of that Act (Wales);

(e) a regional advisory committee maintained under section 37(1)(b) of the
25Forestry Act 1967 for a conservancy in, or consisting of, Wales.

(2) An order under subsection (1) may include provision transferring functions
from the body being abolished to—

(a) the Welsh Ministers, or

(b) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions.

(3) 30The Welsh Ministers may by order modify the funding arrangements of
inspectors appointed by the Welsh Ministers under section 86 of the Water
Industry Act 1991 (assessors for the enforcement of water quality).

(4) In subsection (3), the reference to modifying funding arrangements has effect
as if the reference in section 4(3)(a) to a Minister were to the Welsh Ministers.

(5) 35The Welsh Ministers may by order do any of the following in relation to an
internal drainage board for an area wholly or mainly in Wales—

(a) modify its constitutional arrangements;

(b) modify its functions;

(c) transfer any of its functions to—

(i) 40the Welsh Ministers;

(ii) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions;

(iii) a company limited by guarantee;

(iv) a community interest company;

(v) a body of trustees or other unincorporated body of persons.

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(6) The Welsh Ministers must consult the Secretary of State before making an
order under subsection (5) relating to an internal drainage board for an area not
wholly in Wales.

15 Powers of Welsh Ministers: consequential provision etc

(1) 5An order under section 13 or 14 may contain consequential, supplementary,
incidental or transitional provision, or savings.

(2) Where an order under either of those sections transfers functions, the power in
subsection (1) includes power to make consequential or supplementary
provision—

(a) 10to modify the constitutional or funding arrangements of the transferor
or transferee (subject to subsection (4)),

(b) to modify functions of the transferor or transferee, or

(c) to confer powers of direction on the Welsh Ministers in relation to
functions transferred.

(3) 15Where an order under either of those sections modifies functions of a body or
office-holder, the power in subsection (1) includes power to make
consequential or supplementary provision to modify the constitutional or
funding arrangements of the body or office (subject to subsection (4)).

(4) Subsections (2)(a) and (3) do not confer power on the Welsh Ministers to
20modify the constitutional or funding arrangements of—

(a) the Environment Agency,

(b) the Forestry Commissioners, or

(c) any other cross-border operator.

(5) In subsections (2) to (4) references to modifying funding arrangements have
25effect as if the reference in section 4(3)(a) to a Minister were to the Welsh
Ministers.

(6) The Secretary of State may by order modify the constitutional or funding
arrangements of a person referred to in subsection (4)(a) to (c) in consequence
of an order made by the Welsh Ministers under section 13 or 14.

(7) 30The reference in subsection (6) to modifying the funding arrangements of a
person includes modifying the extent to which the person is funded by the
Welsh Ministers, but the Secretary of State may only modify the extent to
which a person is funded by the Welsh Ministers with their consent.

16 Delegation etc

(1) 35A person to whom this section applies may make arrangements with another
such person for—

(a) a Welsh devolved function relating to the environment exercised by
one to be exercised by the other;

(b) co-operation in relation to the exercise of their respective Welsh
40devolved functions relating to the environment;

(c) the provision of administrative, professional or technical services by
one to the other for purposes relating to the exercise of functions in or
as regards Wales.

(2) This section applies to—

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