It would be helpful to know how, when and to whom,
information on significant changes between the draft clauses as
circulated and the bill as presented were made available
The significant changes between the draft clauses
considered by the Committee and the Bill as introduced into the
House of Lords were highlighted in the Parliamentary Under-Secretary's
letter of 3 February 2000 to the Committee Chairman enclosing
the memorandum in response to the Committee's Report. The Bill
and the associated Explanatory Notes were ordered to be printed
on the same day and so were publicly available from that time.
A list of changes introduced to the draft clauses
"to limit the extent of the sanctions to which the nominee
may be exposed" would be helpful
The nominees will no longer commit a criminal
offence under the Bill if he authorises or permits actions/transactions
under what were paragraphs 14(2), 16(3), 17(4), 18(4) and 21(2)
(in the Bill as brought from the House of Lords paragraphs 16(2),
17(3)(b), 18(3)(b), 19(3)(b) and 22(2)) of Schedule A1 as considered
by the Committee. Additionally, as what was paragraph 27 of Schedule
A1 has not been retained in the Bill, the associated offence will
no longer apply.
The Committee has asked how it has been made clear
that the provisions on insolvent estates of deceased persons will
have no retrospective effect
Firstly, the Committee may wish to note that
the Government will be bringing forward amendments to deal with
potential difficulties associated with clause 11 of the Bill.
However, as regards the specific question of retrospective effect,
the Committee will wish to note that in Grand Committee in the
House of Lords Lord McIntosh said on behalf of the Government
that "we also propose that the new provision will only apply
in those cases where the petition for an insolvency administration
order is presented after the new provision has come into force".
Clarification of the response would be helpful,
particularly in view of the addition of Clause 10 of the Bill
as presented in the Lords
We remain of the view that to do as the Committee
suggested would go beyond the limited purposes of the proposed
amendment. What is still Clause 10 in the Bill addresses a different
issue from that addressed by the Committee. Section 219 of the
Insolvency Act 1986 is clearly not compatible with the decision
of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Saunders-v-the
UK. Unfortunately that section was not identified for inclusion
amongst a number of other changes to insolvency legislation which
were made in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.
Clause 10 will remedy that oversight.