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A

BILL

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

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

public bodies; 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:—

Powers of Ministers

1 Power to abolish

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

(2) An order under subsection (1) may include provision transferring functions

5from 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

Welsh Ministers,

(b) any other person exercising public functions,

(c) 10a company limited by guarantee,

(d) a community interest company, or

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

2 Power to merge

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

15Schedule 2.

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

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(a) to 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

5some or all of the functions of the abolished bodies or offices to the

remaining 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 10Power to modify constitutional arrangements

(1) A 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) 15the name of the body;

(b) the 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) 20employees of the body exercising functions on its behalf (including

qualifications 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) 25reports and accounts;

(h) the 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) 30the name of the office;

(b) appointment of the office-holder (including qualifications and

procedures for appointment);

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

(d) reports and accounts;

(e) 35the extent to which the office-holder is accountable to Ministers;

(f) the 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

40specified in Schedule 4.

(2) 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) conferring power on the body, or the office-holder, to charge fees for

45the exercise of a function (and to determine their amount).

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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

Schedule 5, or

(b) 5transfer 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) changing the purpose or objective for which the person exercises a

10function;

(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,

incidental or transitional provision, or savings.

(2) 15Where an order under sections 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) to modify the constitutional or funding arrangements of the transferor

20or 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

arrangements of the body or office.

(4) 25An order under sections 1 to 5 may include provision repealing the entry in the

Schedule by virtue of which the order was made.

Powers of Ministers: supplementary

7 Restrictions on Ministerial powers

(1) The modification or transfer of a function by an order under sections 1 to 5

30must 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) Those cases are—

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

court or a tribunal);

(b) 35where the function’s exercise involves enforcement activities in relation

to obligations imposed on a Minister;

(c) where 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

40reasons for the order.

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

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(a) the 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) 5the taking of steps preparatory to any of those things.

8 Purpose 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) 10efficiency,

(b) effectiveness,

(c) economy, and

(d) securing appropriate accountability to Ministers.

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

15considers that—

(a) the 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 20Devolution

(1) An 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) 25which modifies the functions of the Scottish Ministers.

(2) Consent 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

30Assembly to make provision—

(a) which 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) 35the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland;

(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

40(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

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 the provision does not affect, other than

45incidentally, a transferred matter (within the meaning of that Act).

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(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) An order under sections 1 to 5 requires the consent of the Welsh Ministers to

5make 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) which could be made by any of those persons.

(8) 10In 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

office.

10 15Consultation

(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

interests substantially affected by the proposal,

(c) 20the 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) a Northern Ireland department, if the proposal relates to any matter, so

25far 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

applying in or as regards Wales, in relation to which the Welsh

30Ministers exercise functions (and where the consent of the National

Assembly for Wales is not required under section 9),

(f) where the functions affected by the proposal relate to the

administration of justice, the Lord Chief Justice, and

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

(2) 35If, 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) It is immaterial for the purposes of this section whether consultation is carried

40out before or after the commencement of this section.

11 Procedure

(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) 45a draft order, and

(b) an explanatory document.

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(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) 5the 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) 10The 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) 15The 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

20recommendation 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) 25any 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

30terms of the draft order.

(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) 35a 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

40or revised draft order if it contains no material changes to its provisions.

Powers of Welsh Ministers

12 Powers relating to environmental bodies

(1) The Welsh Ministers may by order modify—

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

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

(c) the 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) 5a new body,

(b) the Welsh Ministers,

(c) the 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

10Environment Agency or the Forestry Commissioners to—

(a) a new body,

(b) the Welsh Ministers,

(c) the CCW, or

(d) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions.

(4) 15The Welsh Ministers may by order transfer any function of a Welsh Flood and

Coastal Committee to—

(a) a new body,

(b) the Welsh Ministers, or

(c) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions.

(5) 20The Welsh Ministers may by order transfer any function of theirs relating to the

environment to—

(a) a new body,

(b) the CCW, or

(c) the Environment Agency or the Forestry Commissioners.

(6) 25The 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) the Environment Agency or the Forestry Commissioners.

(7) 30The 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

and Coastal Committee established under section 22(1)(c) of the Flood and

35Water 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.

13 Powers relating to other bodies

(1) 40The 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;

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(c) the 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) 5a regional advisory committee maintained under section 37(1)(b) of the

Forestry 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) 10any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions.

(3) The 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

15as if the reference in section 4(2)(a) to a Minister were to the Welsh Ministers.

(5) The 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) 20transfer any of its functions to—

(i) the Welsh Ministers;

(ii) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions;

(iii) a company limited by guarantee;

(iv) a community interest company;

(v) 25a body of trustees or other unincorporated body of persons.

(6) The Welsh Ministers must consult the Secretary of State before making an

order under subsection (5) relating to an internal drainage board not wholly in

Wales.

14 Powers of Welsh Ministers: consequential provision etc

(1) 30An order under section 12 or 13 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) 35to 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) 40Where 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

45modify the constitutional or funding arrangements of—

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(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

5effect as if the reference in section 4(2)(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 12 or 13.

(7) 10The 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.

15 Delegation etc

(1) 15A 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

20devolved 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—

(a) 25the Environment Agency;

(b) the Forestry Commissioners;

(c) any other person exercising Welsh devolved functions relating to the

environment.

(3) The Welsh Ministers may by order make provision about how the function of

30making arrangements under subsection (1) is to be discharged (including

provision about the extent to which a fee may be charged in respect of anything

done under the arrangements).

(4) The Secretary of State’s consent is required for arrangements under this section

involving, or an order under subsection (3) which affects—

(a) 35the Environment Agency,

(b) the Forestry Commissioners, or

(c) any other cross-border operator.

Powers of Welsh Ministers: supplementary

16 Purpose and conditions for orders made by Welsh Ministers

(1) 40The Welsh Ministers may make an order under section 12 or 13 only if they

consider that the order serves the purpose of improving the exercise of public

functions having regard to—

(a) efficiency,

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