Amendments proposed to the Care Standards Bill [Lords] - continued House of Commons

back to previous text

Independent advocacy services

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand
Mr Jonathan R. Shaw
Mr Hilton Dawson

NC1

To move the following Clause:—

    '. Local authorities shall secure that independent advocacy services are available for all children in their area who are placed under the provisions of Part II of this Act.'.


Complaints in respect of independent hospitals

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC2

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Commission shall institute procedures by which dissatisfaction with the dealing of complaints by independent hospitals may be expressed.

    (2) In the event that the Commission is satisfied that a complaint is upheld it shall be entitled to take account of such complaint in exercising any of its duties under this Act.

    (3) In the event that the Commission is satisfied that a complaint has not been properly dealt with by an agency or establishment it shall refer the matter to the Health Ombudsman.'.


Appointment and staff of commissioner

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC3

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) There shall be a Children's Rights Commissioner, who shall be appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the Secretary of State.

    (2) Before making such a recommendation the Secretary of State shall consult such persons as appear to him to be appropriate.

    (3) The Commissioner—

      (a) shall be appointed for a period of five years;

      (b) shall hold office during that period unless—

          (i) relieved at his own request; or

          (ii) removed by Her Majesty in consequence of addresses from both Houses of Parliament;

      (c) at the end of a term of appointment shall be eligible for reappointment.

    (4) The Commissioner may appoint such staff as he thinks fit to assist with the discharge of his functions; and any function of the Commissioner may be performed by any member of his staff authorised for that purpose by the Commissioner.

    (5) The Commissioner and the Commissioner's staff shall not be regarded as agents or servants of the Crown.'.


Duties and guiding principles

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC4

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Commissioner shall be under a duty—

      (a) to promote the rights and interests of children;

      (b) to seek to ensure that the rights and interests of children are properly taken into account by Ministers of the Crown, government departments, local authorities, other public bodies and voluntary and private organisations when decisions on policies affecting children are taken;

      (c) to promote compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as ratified by Her Majesty's Government and subject to such reservations as Her Majesty's Government made on ratification, unless subsequently withdrawn; and

      (d) to seek to ensure that children have effective means of redress if their rights are disregarded by any body referred to in paragraph (b).

    (2) In exercising these functions the Commissioner shall have regard to—

      (a) the principles laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in such other international treaties, conventions or agreements which have been ratified or otherwise acceded to by Her Majesty's Government and which affect children;

      (b) the need to maintain direct contact with children and children's organisations, to pay particular regard to the views of children and to promote respect for the views of children throughout society;

      (c) the need to ensure co-ordination between different bodies (including government departments) which provide services for children; and

      (d) the need to consult from time to time other persons seeking to promote the rights and interests of children.'.


Annual reports

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC5

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) As soon as practicable after the end of each calendar year the Commissioner shall submit an annual report on his activities during the year to the Secretary of State.

    (2) The annual report shall include a general description of the circumstances of children in England and a survey of developments which have affected them during the period of the report.

    (3) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of each annual report before both Houses of Parliament and shall cause the report to be published.'.


Recommendations and compliance notices

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC6

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Commissioner may make other reports at his discretion, and may publish them as he thinks fit; and such reports may contain such recommendations for action by others (including Ministers of the Crown) as in the opinion of the Commissioner are necessary or expedient.

    (2) In making recommendations under subsection (1) the Commissioner shall give reasons in the report and shall send a copy of the report to any person at whom a recommendation is directed.

    (3) If it appears to the Commissioner that a person is not complying with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as ratified by Her Majesty's Government he may make recommendations in the form of a compliance notice, which shall state his opinion as to the way in which provisions in the Convention are not being complied with and what action should be taken to comply.'.


Following up recommendations

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC7

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) A person at whom a recommendation is directed by a Commissioner shall—

      (a) consider the recommendation; and

      (b) notify the Commissioner within three months of receiving it (or a longer period if the Commissioner agrees) of the action which has been taken or it is intended to take in response to the recommendation.

    (2) Where a person at whom a recommendation is directed intends not to comply with it he shall furnish the Commissioner with reasons for not doing so; and the Commissioner may publish the reasons.

    (3) The Commissioner may require a person at whom a recommendation is directed to furnish him with such information as may be reasonably required to verify whether the recommendation has been complied with.

    (4) Any person who fails to comply (whether wholly or partly) with a compliance notice may be required to publish that failure in such manner as the Commissioner may specify.

    (5) If the Commissioner has reasonable cause for believing that a person will not comply with subsection (4) he may—

      (a) publish the failure to comply with the notice; and

      (b) recover from that person any reasonable expenses incurred.

    (6) The Commissioner shall—

      (a) establish and maintain a register of compliance notices; and

      (b) ensure that the register may be inspected at all reasonable hours by any person.'.


Investigations

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC8

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Commissioner may conduct a formal investigation for any purpose connected with the carrying out of his duties.

    (2) For the purposes of a formal investigation the Commissioner may require any person who possesses documents or information relevant to the investigation to—

      (a) produce such documents;

      (b) furnish the information in writing;

      (c) attend at a specified time and place and give oral information.

    (3) No person shall be compelled under subsection (2) to give information or produce documents which he could not be compelled to give or produce in civil proceedings before the High Court.

    (4) The Commissioner shall prepare and publish a report of his findings in any formal investigation and shall include in it such recommendations as appear to him to be necessary or expedient.'.


Child impact statements

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC9

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) Whenever it appears necessary or expedient to the Commissioner, he may require a Minister of the Crown to provide a child impact statement relating to any decision or proposal on policy which the Minister has made and which affects or may affect children.

    (2) A child impact statement under subsection (1) shall set out the probable impact in the Minister's opinion on children of the decision or proposal to which the statement relates; and the Minister shall cause the statement to be published.

    (3) Where the Commissioner publishes his opinions with regard to a child impact statement and requests the Minister who provided the statement to respond to these opinions, the Minister shall comply with that request.'.


Complaints procedures

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC10

To move the following Clause:—

    ' .—(1) The Commissioner may require any person who is under a statutory duty to establish, operate or supervise any procedure for the consideration or representations or complaints to provide such information as can reasonably be obtained about the number, nature and outcomes of representations or complaints made by or on behalf of children.

    (2) The Commissioner may request such information from any person who has established, operates or supervises any other procedure for the consideration or representations or complaints.

    (3) Information provided to the Commissioner under subsection (1) or (2) shall not identify any person who has made a representation or complaint.'.

 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page Search page Enquiries index

©Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 22 Jun 2000