House of Commons
Session 2001- 02|
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)
|Civil Defence (Grant) Bill|
These notes refer to the Civil Defence (Grant) Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 21st June 2001 [Bill 4]
CIVIL DEFENCE (GRANT) BILL
1. These explanatory notes relate to the Civil Defence (Grant) Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 21st June 2001. They have been prepared by the Home Office in order to assist the reader of the Bill and to help inform debate on it. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament.
2. The notes need to be read in conjunction with the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Bill. So where a clause or part of a clause does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.
3. The Bill amends the Civil Defence Act 1948 ("the 1948 Act"), in order to enable grants made to authorities in England and Wales for civil defence purposes to be cash limited.
4. A Review into the local arrangements for emergency planning is under way, the result of which is likely to be emergency planning legislation. In the mean time, there is a need to amend the 1948 Act so as to provide a secure legal basis for the reform of grant making procedures.
COMMENTARY ON CLAUSES
5. This Bill substitutes section 3 of the 1948 Act in so far as it applies to authorities in England and Wales.
6. New section 3(1) confers a grant making function on the designated Minister (at present the Home Secretary).
7. New section 3(2) requires the designated Minister to determine how much civil defence grant will be made available to each authority which has civil defence functions. (These are conferred on by Regulations made under Section 2 of the 1948 Act). The designated Minister is required to publish the amount of grant paid to each authority, the aggregate of all grants, and the criteria by which these amount have been determined.
8. New section 3(3) allows the designated Minister to use different criteria in relation to different authorities, and to vary individual determinations.
9. New section 3A gives the designated Minister an additional power to pay a discretionary grant to any authority with civil defence functions under section 2 of the Act
10. Under new section 3B, the designated Minister will determine when grant is paid and whether any conditions should be applied to the payment of that grant. New section 3B also provides for the recovery of any over-payment of grant.
FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL
11. The Government believes the effect of the changes in the Bill will be to prevent unexpected increases in costs, since grant expenditure will no longer be demand led. For example, in the current financial year expenditure is expected to rise from approximately £14 million to £19.5 million. No significant increases or reductions are expected in future years.
EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER
12. No significant effects are expected.
SUMMARY OF THE REGULATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
13. The Cabinet Office has agreed that a Regulatory Impact Assessment is not required as there could be only a negligible impact on business, charities or voluntary bodies.
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
14. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by Section 1 of that Act). The statement has to be made before Second Reading. On 20th June 2001 the Home Secretary made the following statement:
15. This Bill will come into force on Royal Assent, but will take effect in relation to the financial year ending 31st March 2003 and subsequent financial years.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2001||Prepared: 22 June 2001|