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Amendment Paper as at
Wednesday 12th July 2000

CONSIDERATION OF BILL


CARE STANDARDS BILL [LORDS], AS AMENDED

NEW CLAUSES

General powers of the Commission

   

Mr Secretary Milburn

NC16

To move the following Clause:—

    '. The Commission may at any time give advice to the Secretary of State on—

      (a) any changes which the Commission thinks should be made, for the purpose of securing improvement in the quality of services provided by local authorities in England in the exercise of relevant functions, in the standards set out in statements under section 48; and

      (b) any other matter connected with the exercise by local authorities in England of relevant functions.'


Children's Commissioner for England

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC1

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) There shall be an office of the Children's Commissioner for England.

    (2) Schedule (The Children's Commissioner for England) shall have effect with respect to the Children's Commissioner for England (referred to in this Act as "the Commissioner for England").'.


Review and monitoring of arrangements: England

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC2

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Commissioner for England may review, and monitor the operation of, arrangements falling within subsection (2), (3) or (4) for the purpose of ascertaining whether, and to what extent, the arrangements are effective in safeguarding and promoting the rights and welfare of children to whom this Part applies.

    (2) The arrangements falling within this subsection are the arrangements made by the providers of regulated children's services in England, or by the Secretary of State, for dealing with complaints or representations in respect of such services made by or on behalf of children to whom this Part applies.

    (3) The arrangements falling within this subsection are arrangements made by the providers of regulated children's services in England, or by the Secretary of State, for ensuring that proper action is taken in response to any disclosure of information which reasonably suggests—

      (a) that a criminal offence has been committed;

      (b) that a person has failed to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject;

      (c) that the health and safety of any person has been endangered; or

      (d) that information reasonably suggesting that any matter falling within one of the preceding paragraphs has been deliberately concealed,

    in the course of or in connection with the provision of such services.

    (4) The arrangements falling within this subsection are arrangements made (whether by providers of regulated children's services in England, by the Secretary of State or by any other person) for making persons available—

      (a) to represent the views and wishes of children to whom this Part applies; or

      (b) to provide such children with advice and support of any prescribed kind.

    (5) Regulations may confer power on the Commissioner to require prescribed persons to provide any information which the Commissioner considers it necessary or expedient to have for the purposes of his functions under this section.'.


Examination of cases: England

   

Mr Paul Burstow
Dr Peter Brand

NC3

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) Regulations may make provision for the examination by the Commissioner for England of the cases of particular children to whom this Part applies.

    (2) The regulations may include provision about—

      (a) the types of case which may be examined;

      (b) the circumstances in which an examination may be made;

      (c) the procedure for conducting an examination, including provision about the representation of parties;

      (d) the publication of reports following an examination.

    (3) The regulations may make provision for—

      (a) requiring persons to provide the Commissioner with information; or

      (b) requiring persons who hold or are accountable for information to provide the Commissioner with explanations or other assistance,

    for the purposes of an examination or for the purposes of determining whether any recommendation made in a report following an examination has been complied with.

    (4) For the purposes mentioned in subsection (3), the Commissioner shall have the same powers as the High Court in respect of—

      (a) the attendance and examination of witnesses (including the administration of oaths and affirmations and the examination of witnesses abroad); and

      (b) the provision of information.

    (5) No person shall be compelled for the purposes mentioned in subsection (3) to give any evidence or provide any information which he could not be compelled to give or provide in civil proceedings before the High Court.

    (6) The regulations may make provision for the payment by the Commissioner of sums in respect of expenses or allowances to persons who attend or provide information for the purposes mentioned in subsection (3).'.


Statement of national minimum standards

   

Mr Philip Hammond
Mrs Caroline Spelman

NC4

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to publish a statement of national minimum standards in respect of establishments or agencies required to be registered under this Part and to amend such statements from time to time as he deems appropriate.

    (2) The Secretary of State may publish different statements under subsection (1) in respect of different descriptions of establishments or agencies.

    (3) Before publishing a statement or amendments to a statement, the Secretary of State shall comply with the requirements of subsections (4) and (5) below.

    (4) The Secretary of State shall—

      (a) consult such persons as he considers appropriate and, in determining who to consult, he shall take advice from the Commission; and

      (b) request the Commission to give him advice as to the likely impact of the proposed statement or the proposed amendment on—

          (i) the aggregate supply of the service provided by establishments or agencies of the type concerned in England and Wales; and

          (ii) the cost of supplying such services in accordance with the statement of minimum standards;

    and shall then publish a draft of a statement or of amendments to a statement.

    (5) The Secretary of State shall lay before both Houses of Parliament a draft of any proposed statement of national minimum standards or amendments to a statement together with copies of representations received in respect of the consultation under subsection (4)(a) and the advice received from the Commission under subsection (4)(b).

    (6) No statement of national minimum standards shall have effect unless a draft of it has been laid before each House of Parliament in accordance with subsection (5) and has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

    (7) Where a statement of national minimum standards applies to an establishment or agency, no person may be registered in respect of that establishment or agency unless the applicable national minimum standard is complied with.'.


Independent Healthcare Committee and Nursing and Care Homes Committee

   

Mr Philip Hammond
Mrs Caroline Spelman

NC5

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Commission shall establish—

      (a) an Independent Healthcare Committee chaired by a Commissioner who shall have specific responsibility for the Commission's functions in respect of independent hospitals; and

      (b) a Nursing and Care Homes Committee chaired by a Commissioner who shall have specific responsibility for the Commission's functions in respect of nursing and care homes.

    (2) The Commission shall establish—

      (a) a Directorate of Independent Healthcare under a Director of Independent Healthcare, who shall report to the Independent Healthcare Committee; and

      (b) a Directorate of Nursing and Care Homes under a Director of Nursing and Care Homes, who shall report to the Nursing and Care Homes Committee.

    (3) The Secretary of State may by regulations define the respective responsibilities of the Committees established in accordance with subsection (1).'.


National Adoption Register

   

Mr Philip Hammond
Mrs Caroline Spelman

NC6

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1) There shall be established and maintained by the Commission in accordance with this section a list (referred to in this Act as "the National Adoption Register") recording all those persons suitable and willing to undertake the adoption of children in England and Wales.

    (2) The Secretary of State shall by regulations make provision for persons to apply to be entered in the National Adoption Register.

    (3) The Secretary of State shall by regulations make provisions for criteria to be set by which applications pursuant to the regulations mentioned in (2) above shall be assessed by the Commission.

    (4) The regulations in subsection (3) shall provide that any person who a local authority had determined within the period of five years prior to this section coming into force to be fit and proper to undertake adoption of children in England and Wales shall be entered in the National Adoption Register.

    (5) The regulations mentioned in (2) shall make provision for a person applying to be listed in the National Adoption Register to appeal against any decision to refuse to so list him.'.

 
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