Select Committee on Statutory Instruments Second Report


 The Select Committee appointed to consider any instrument which is directed by Act of Parliament to be laid before and to be subject to proceedings in this House only being:

      (a)  a statutory instrument, or draft of a statutory instrument;
      (b)  a scheme, or an amendment of a scheme, or a draft thereof, requiring approval by statutory instrument; or
      (c)  any other instrument (whether or not in draft), where the proceedings in pursuance of an Act of Parliament are proceedings by way of an affirmative resolution:

In pursuance of the Instruction that in considering any such instrument the Committee do not join with the Committee appointed by the Lords, has made progress in the matter referred to it and has agreed the following report:

1. The Committee has considered the instruments listed in the Annex to this Report, and has determined that the special attention of the House does not require to be drawn to any of them.

Asian Development Bank (Seventh Replenishment of the Asian Development Fund) Order 2001

2. The Committee draws the attention of the House to the above instrument on the ground that there is, as yet, no power to make the Order.

3. The draft Order requires affirmative approval of the House of Commons under section 4(3) of the Overseas Development and Co-operation Act 1980 before the Order can be made. The purpose of the instrument is to authorise the Secretary of State to make further contributions of a sum not exceeding £84,718,086 to the Asian Development Fund of the Asian Development Bank in accordance with arrangements made between HM Government and the Bank. Section 4(1) of the 1980 Act provides that if the Government becomes bound by arrangements to make payments to the Bank, the Secretary of State may, with Treasury approval, provide by order for the required payments to be paid out of money provided by Parliament. The power to make such an order arises when: (a) the Government becomes bound to make the payments, and (b) the draft Order is approved by the House of Commons. The voluntary memorandum submitted by the Department for International Development and printed in the Appendix explains that no obligation to make the payment envisaged by article 2 of the draft Order will arise until an instrument of contribution is deposited by the United Kingdom and has become effective. The draft Order has been presented for approval of the House at this time in order to secure its support before the deposit of that instrument, and to authorise the making of an order which would justify the payments. The Secretary of State will only have power to make an Order in terms of the draft once the obligation to make the payments comes into existence. Paragraph 8 of the memorandum contains in effect an undertaking that the Secretary of State will not seek to make the Order until she has power to do so.

4. The Committee has resolved to follow its usual practice[1] of reporting such Orders on the basis that, although there is, as yet, no power to make the Order, there is no technical reason for the House not to approve the draft instrument: it should merely be aware that it is acting, as on occasions in the past, on a ministerial undertaking. The Committee reports the instrument accordingly.

1   Sixth Report from the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments (1998-99), Thirteenth Report (1992-93), First Report (1996-97), First Report (1997-98), Second Report (1997-98) and First Report (1999-2000) Back

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Prepared 22 June 2001