Appendix B |
Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Proposal for the draft Regulatory Reform (Gaming
Machines) Order 2003: request for further information
Thank you for your letter of 3 April seeking further
information about this draft Order. We are happy to help.
2. I set out our answers to the Committee's 37 questions
below. Our answers are of course to be read in conjunction with
the narrative in your letter, which I have not sought to repeat.
3. We are as you ask sending a copy of this letter
to the Clerk of the House of Lords Committee on Delegated Powers
and Regulatory Reform. We will be replying to her separate letter
Whether the proposal removes or reduces a burden
Q1 Please specify the nature of the burden the
Department considers is imposed by the present requirement that
prizes won in one session of play on a gaming machine must be
paid out at the end of that session, on whom the Department considers
that burden falls, and how the proposal would reduce or remove
4. We assume that in referring to "burden"
in this question, the Committee are using that term as having
the specific meaning given by the Regulatory Reform Act 2001.
Section 2 of the RRA defines burden as meaning "a restriction,
requirement or condition
" and under section 1
of the Act the burdens which may be removed by a Regulatory Reform
Order are those "affecting persons in the carrying on
of any activity".
5. Looked at on this basis, we take the view that
the primary burden is the requirement imposed on those persons
who are potentially liable - as the Committee has noted elsewhere
- for an offence under section 38 to ensure that, where they operate
any gaming machine on premises, the machine complies with the
condition imposed by section 31(4) and (5) or (as the case may
be) section 34(5C). Section 34(5C) prohibits an AWP machine from
retaining winnings for further play. The same necessarily applies
to jackpot machines, by virtue of sections 31(4) and (5) as those
provisions currently have effect.
6. The proposal would remove this burden in relation
to jackpot machines by relieving the relevant persons from having
to comply with this requirement. In practical terms, the effect
of the burden which the law imposes is that the payment mechanism
of the machine undergoes considerable wear and tear as coins are
paid in and out, and the Order would reduce that wear and tear.
Players replaying their winnings would not be using the coin-op
mechanisms to put their winnings back in, and there would be fewer
separate occasions when the mechanism was operated to pay money
7. The burden which the law imposes has a corresponding
effect upon players since, if they want to use their winnings
for further play, they must first get the machine to pay them
out, and then re-insert them. The Order would mean that players
who wanted to carry on would no longer have to go through this
Whether the proposal satisfies the tests in sections
l ('proportionality') and 3 ('fair balance')
Q2 Please indicate why the Government believes
that the new burden which would be created by the Order is proportionate
to the benefit which is expected to result from its creation.
8. As the Committee has noted, the burden which is
created by the Order itself (as distinct from burdens in the Gaming
Board guidelines) is that contained in Article 2(4) of the draft
Order, inserting into section 31 of the Gaming Act a provision
that smartcards (or other 'objects') used to play jackpot machines
are 'redeemable on demand at the premises where the machine
is used for gaming at any time when a machine to which this Part
of the Act applies is available for use for gaming at those premises'.
In other words, the operator of the premises has to pay out on
the card on demand, as long as the premises are open.
9. The benefit which arises from this burden is that
the player of a machine using a smartcard or other non-cash payment
method will be able to recover any money that he has won or that
remains credited to the smartcard. Gaming debts are not enforceable
in law, and the Department considers that a requirement that machines
take smartcards that are redeemable on demand is both reasonable
and proportionate to the benefits which operators may derive from
the opportunity to run smartcard machines.
Q3 The Department has accepted the need to make
non-statutory provision for measures of protection further than
those which the draft order itself contains. Please state how
the Department believes that the order, taken as a whole, would
strike a fair balance between the public interest and the interests
of the persons affected by the burden being created.
10. There is a public interest in increasing the
efficiency of the gaming machines sector of the leisure industry
and also, of course, in ensuring that machines are operated in
ways which do not give rise to substantial risks of encouraging
players to use machines excessively. There are two categories
of persons affected by the burden being created - machine operators
11. The Department believes that the Order strikes
a fair balance in these respects. Operators support the change
in the law, recognising that the new burden only arises as part
of a larger freedom to configure their machines in a more efficient
way. The Department believes that players cannot be in a less
advantageous position than at present since they will, in practice,
be assured of payment of any winnings on demand.
Q4 Please list the relevant protections which
the Department considers are contained in (a) the existing law
affected by the proposals, and (b) any current Gaming Board guidelines
on the operation of gaming machines which will be amended by the
proposed new guidelines.
12. There are three protections in the law. The first
derives from the fact that players must play in coin (for jackpot
machines, s. 31(3) of the Gaming Act 1968, and for higher-value
AWP machines, s.34(5B)). Taken together with the fact that the
highest value coin is £2, this means that players must make
a separate decision to commit each new unit of £2, or less,
to play. The proposals affect this requirement in the case both
of jackpot and higher-value AWP machines.
13. The second protection in the law is that players
are paid out in cash when they win. The Order affects this requirement
as it applies to jackpot machines, but not as it applies to higher-value
AWP machines. This protection in respect of jackpot machines appears
at section 31(4) of the 1968 Act.
14. The third protection in the law is that machines
should be able to accept payment for a single play. The Order
affects this protection as it applies to both jackpot and higher-value
AWP machines. For jackpot machines, it appears at section 31(3)
of the 1968 Act, and for higher-value AWP machines it appears
at section 34(5B), read together with section 34(2). In both cases,
it is the reference to the 'charge for play for playing a game
once by means of the machine shall be a coin or coins of an amount
.' which is interpreted as meaning that
the machine must be capable of taking payment for a single play.
15. The Gaming Board is not amending any of its existing
Q5 Please indicate the extent to which the Department
considers these protections will be continued by means of (a)
the proposed order and (b) the proposed new guidelines.
16. The guidelines will ensure that the maximum amount
that players can commit to play - without making a separate decision
to commit further money to play - is £2, and the Order requires
that players are paid out either in cash or by non-cash means
which are redeemable on demand.
17. The Department considers that both these protections
are entirely equivalent to what currently exists in these areas.
As explained elsewhere in this document (please see answer to
Question 16) the Board's guidelines apply to all licensed suppliers
of gaming machines. Players can rely on the Board's guidelines
applying to any machine which they might use.
18. The Department considers that there is no significant
difference so far as the player is concerned between being paid
out in cash directly by a machine and being paid out by non-cash
means which are redeemable on demand at the premises.
19. The third protection - that machines should be
able to accept payment for a single play - is not being continued.
See Q6 below.
Q6 In respect of any protections the Department
considers will not be continued, please indicate whether the Department
considers that these are necessary protections.
20. The only protection which is not being continued
is that machines should be able to accept payment for a single
play. As explained in the Home Office's March 2001 consultation
document (para 50) this is not a necessary protection. It does
not add to consumer safeguards to have law which requires that
players must always be able to insert, in effect, their loose
small change into a gaming machine.
Paying out on smartcard debts
Q7 What is the Department's response to the specific
issues raised by Professor Miers in his consultation response?
21. We referred to Professor Miers' analysis at paragraph
141 of the explanatory statement to this draft Order. As we said
there, the Government has made it clear that the forthcoming overall
Bill on gambling will propose the repeal of the provisions of
the Gaming Act 1845 which make gambling debts unenforceable in
22. The Government believes that this will be a change
of considerable importance, and it is right that Parliament should
have the opportunity to consider it as part of a Bill and in the
context of the controls on gambling as a whole. Although it might
have been technically possible to disapply the 1845 Act from gaming
machine smartcard debts as part of this Order, that would have
created a situation in which these relatively small debts were
legally enforceable while far larger ones, for instance in connection
with betting or casinos, would not be. The Government sees no
merit in that.
23. More generally the Department does not agree
with Professor Miers' pessimistic assessment of the operation
of the market in this area. The Order would allow smartcards to
be used by machines in casinos, bingo clubs, and members' clubs.
Casinos and bingo clubs operate under licence from the Magistrates
and are subject to monitoring by the Gaming Board. We consider
it highly unlikely in these circumstances that they would refuse
to pay out on a legitimate gaming machine debt. But if they did,
the Gaming Board would have to give consideration to applying
for cancellation of their licence.
24. Members' clubs need Magistrates' permits for
their machines. It seems improbable that they would refuse to
pay out on a gaming machine prize legitimately won by a member
or guest. Club members would be able to have recourse to the club's
own procedures if they did.
Q8 Why it is not possible to make it a criminal
offence to refuse to pay out on smartcard debts by means of the
25. We have not said that it is not possible to make
this a criminal offence. But we believe that this would be a disproportionate
response, particularly as the Gambling Bill will not propose that
non-payment of a gambling debt will be a criminal offence. It
will instead allow for debts to be enforceable through civil process.
26. As the Committee has observed there is an offence
in terms of operating an unlawful machine (section 38 of the Gaming
Act - see Question 11 below) which may be applicable in some circumstances.
Q9 What will the practical effect of the new requirement
on payouts be, in terms of consumer protection?
27. The Gaming Act defines the maximum prizes from
gaming machines, but it does not require operators to pay them.
The Department considers that defining smartcard and other non-cash
payment methods, as the Order does, in terms of an obligation
to pay out on them provides players with a safeguard which balances
the extra latitude which the Order gives to operators.
Q10 What recourse, if any, will a customer have
in practice against an operator who refuses to comply with the
28. If a casino or bingo operator refused to pay
a winning customer, the customer would be able to complain either
to the Gaming Board or to the local licensing authority. They
would need to take that into consideration when determining whether
the operator was a fit and proper person to hold the relevant
29. As we have said in answer to question 7, it seems
improbable that a members' club would refuse to pay out on a gaming
machine prize legitimately won by a member or guest. Club members
would be able to have recourse to the club's own procedures if
Q11 What sanctions in law, if any, will be available
against an operator who refuses to comply with the new requirement?
30. If an operator consistently refuses to honour
smartcards he has issued for play on his machine, he could arguably
be said to be operating a machine which contravenes the requirements
of section 31 of the Gaming Act. That could render him liable
to prosecution under section 38. But see the answer to question
31. It is difficult to envisage circumstances in
which proceedings under s.38 might happen. The Order allows for
smartcards to be used only in bingo clubs, casinos, and registered
clubs. The courses of action which we have set out in answer to
questions 7 and 10 offer in our view a much more plausible scenario
for what might happen in such circumstances, were they to occur.
Q12 Does the Department agree that failure by
an operator to honour a smartcard debt, thereby breaching the
provisions of proposed new subsections 31(3A) and (3B), would
constitute an offence under s. 38(3) of the 1968 Act?
32. In the case of a one-off or occasional failure,
rather than a consistent pattern of refusal, we consider that
the answer to this question is No. The obligations which the new
provisions impose relate to the type of object that can be inserted
in the machine in order to play it - that is, one that is redeemable
on demand. We do not consider that this directly imposes a requirement
to redeem a smartcard. Such a result might be achieved were failure
to redeem the smartcard (or other 'object') to be taken as showing
that it was not in fact 'redeemable' as the new provisions require.
But as already explained we find it difficult to envisage practical
circumstances in which this might happen.
Q13 If this is so, does the Department intend
that this should be the case?
33. It is not so.
Credits to smartcards
Q14 Why was the proposed requirement that a smartcard
withdrawn or ejected from the machine should first be credited
with all the monetary value owing to the player dropped between
consultation and proposal stage? For what reason is this safeguard
not considered to constitute a necessary protection?
34. Such a requirement would be impractical. If the
player inserts a smartcard, he can download separate tranches
of £2 until he gets to £20, at which point his card
is automatically ejected. If the original proposal were implemented,
all the credits would then have to be put back on the card, leaving
the player unable to play.
35. The guidelines do not require smartcard machines
to credit a player with all the money he has won when he withdraws
his card from the machine. They allow for money to be credited
to the card in units of £1, so that a player who has won
£2.50 may, under the guidelines, get only £2 of that
credited to his card.
36. This gives consistency in terms of the guidelines
with cash (banknote) machines. The guidelines do not require these
to pay out in units of less than £1.
Q15 Please explain the apparent discrepancy between
the Departmental policy aim, which is to require operators to
provide free-standing smartcard readers, and the draft Gaming
Board guidelines which are intended to achieve this aim, which
indicate that it is acceptable for smartcard readers to be built
into gaming machines. Please also indicate how the draft guidelines
are to be amended to resolve the discrepancy.
37. See answer to Question 16.
Q16 Please explain how the proposed requirement
for operators to provide free-standing smartcard readers can effectively
be enforced by Gaming Board guidelines, given that these guidelines
are addressed to, and enforceable upon, suppliers of gaming machines
rather than operators.
38. We do not think that a separate smartcard reader
is necessary. It is better for the player to have a reader conveniently
sited in the machine he is playing. This will also aid enforcement,
since the Board can exert more direct control over the suppliers
and manufacturers who will install them. The Gaming Board does
not licence manufacturers. However, it has a close relationship
with them. If the Board has objections to a particular machine
that a manufacturer has made, it can exert its influence on the
suppliers (who it does licence) not to use or site it.
Q17 How does the Department intend to ensure that
players know, in advance of committing their money to a machine,
the minimum stake which has to be committed to play, and the number
of games which can be played for that stake?
39. Every gaming machine which the Gaming Board is
aware of shows the price of a game on its face. It has never been
necessary to require this by guideline, but in the unlikely event
that manufacturers were to stop doing this the Board would press
them. That could well lead to new guidelines being issued to cover
the point. The intention is that the player should always easily
be able to know how much it will cost to play on the machine.
Q18 Why does the Department now believe that jackpot
and higher-value AWP machines which accept coins should no longer
be subject to the requirement that they should be able to accept
payment for a single play?
40. We did not on reflection see it as necessary
or logical to require coin only machines to require payment for
a single play when machines taking banknotes do not. We also discuss
this issue at Question 6.
Q19 What is the basis for the Department's assertion
that not much purpose would be served by including the requirement
in Gaming Board guidelines?
41. We concluded that this should be a commercial
matter for the industry to decide. It will need to strike a balance
between attracting casual players and installing the mechanisms
needed to accept coins for a single play.
Retention of cash residues
Q20 Please explain whether in the Department's
view the proposal, contained within the Gaming Board guidelines,
to permit operators to retain sums of up to £1 which remain
on a player's bank meter, constitutes an acceptable reduction
in the level of protection presently available to players of gaming
machines. If so, please explain why.
42. We think that this is acceptable, since machines
which only accept £1or £2 coins will not have lower
value coinage to pay out smaller amounts. So far as inducing further
play is concerned, we take the view that the issue in terms of
player protection is whether the player has to pay for that further
play. For example, the maximum permissible stake for a single
game on a jackpot machine, which the Order would allow to take
smartcards, is 50p (though many such machines have a lower stake).
If the player has 90p left on the machine, and this is not going
to be credited to his card, he can use 50p of that to play a last
single game. There will be only 40p left over.
43. The player could then add another 10p to the
machine to obtain a further final game. But a similar situation
already applies to existing gaming machines - there are often
occasions when a small amount of money, not enough for a single
game, is left in the machine. The Order would introduce nothing
new in that regard.
Gaming Board guidelines
Q21 Why does the Department believe that it is
more appropriate for the safeguards to be enshrined in non-statutory
and non-binding guidelines, which will not be subject to Parliamentary
scrutiny or approval, rather than being set out on the face of
the proposed order?
44. Because that makes them easier to adapt to circumstances
in the light of a rapidly-changing, high-tech industry. Although
the Gaming Board's guidelines are non-binding, the industry adheres
45. The guidelines system works well. The core protections
have always been, and will remain, in the legislation. The proposals
do not significantly alter the overall balance between protections
which are in the legislation and those which are not.
Q22 At what point does the Department expect the
guidelines which the Gaming Board intends to issue to accompany
the proposal, if made, to be finalised and issued? Under what
circumstances, and under whose authority, may the guidelines subsequently
46. The guidelines will be ready when we lay the
Order at second stage. They are issued under the authority of
the Gaming Board, who will discuss any possible amendments to
them with the Department before these are issued.
47. It is difficult to speculate about circumstances
in which the Board may wish to amend its guidelines. Our answer
to question 17 suggests one scenario in which that might happen,
though we think it unlikely.
Q23 What is the Department's assessment of the
effectiveness of the Gaming Board as a certifying and enforcement
48. The Department recognizes the Gaming Board as
a highly effective and competent regulator. The British gaming
industry - including its gaming machines component - has a high
reputation internationally for integrity, reflecting the work
of the Board over the last 30 years in controlling entry to the
industry and regulating its detailed performance through its certification
and enforcement powers and through codes of practice and guidances.
Q24 What is the Department's response to GamCare's
assertion that the Gaming Board's powers to enforce compliance
with its guidelines "are only partially effective"?
49. We accept GamCare's concern, which reflects the
indirect nature of the control which the Board can bring to bear
in this instance. Indirect though they may be, however, the Department
considers that the Board's powers will be effective in this instance.
Q25 Please provide an analysis, covering the last
three financial years for which figures are available, of the
Board's activities in certifying suppliers and refusing and revoking
certificates; the complaints received in respect of breaches of
gaming machine guidelines; the number of complaints investigated,
and the resulting action taken by the Board.
50. The Gaming Board does not prepare formal analyses
of breaches of its gaming machines guidelines. These are extremely
rare. Should a breach occur, the Board would deal with it by discussion
with the supplier or the manufacturer. Ultimately, the Board can
if need be remove a supplier's licence, but it would be unprecedented
for this to happen as a result of an operator not adhering to
the guidelines. The supplier would have a very great deal to lose.
51. The numbers of registered suppliers and of refusals
and revocations in each of the last three years are as follows
S27 certificate holders
registered with GB
|Revocations and refusals
Q26 Please explain why the Department believes the proposed
guidelines can be enforced by the Gaming Board in so far as they
relate to operators, and how the proposed guidelines to apply
to suppliers relate to their fitness to be suppliers.
52. The Board does not certify operators as such. However, that
does not mean that the Board is without power to control the characteristics
of the gaming machines on an operator's premises. Operators can
only be supplied with their machines through companies holding
the Board's gaming machine supplier certificate under section
27 of the Gaming Act. The Gaming Board's guidelines bite on these
suppliers, and as explained in response to Question 16 they also
bite indirectly but effectively on the manufacturers of the machines.
53. Aside from that, the Board directly regulates two of the three
types of location in which jackpot machines with smartcards will
be able to be used. The Board issues consent certificates to both
bingo clubs and casinos. These extremely valuable certificates
- without which a bingo club or casino cannot operate - fall to
be renewed yearly (and can be cancelled at any time). The Board
would take serious account of any non-adherence to its machine
guidelines in deciding whether to apply to the Magistrates for
the revocation of a casino or bingo club's licence.
54. The other location where smartcard machines will be able to
be used is the registered club. Although these are registered
with the Magistrates, the Gaming Board does not licence them.
But quite apart from the Board's control over their suppliers
- which applies to registered clubs as it does to any other premises
with gaming machines - club members themselves would voice their
concern if there were a pattern of irregularity or unfairness,
in particular if it involved not paying out on a smartcard.
Q27 Please set out the basis for the gaming machine industry's
assertion, repeated in the consultation document, that 70% of
players' winnings are played back into gaming machines, and that
players generally decide to limit their session expenditure.
55. Both estimates come from studies carried out by the industry
itself. The 70% figure derives from an analysis that JPM (a leading
manufacturer of gaming machines) carried out, based upon live
data from machines in pubs and betting shops which had been electronically
linked to a central system which recorded details of use by players.
56. The gaming machines industry view that players decide to limit
their session expenditure derives from a poll conducted by their
trade association, BACTA. The consensus of leading operators was
that the majority of players generally limit their expenditure,
determining in advance how much they are prepared to spend (in
effect, to lose) during a particular session and sticking to it.
Q28 Please indicate whether the Department has commissioned,
or is aware of, any independent research into the effects of the
new machines and payment methods on player behaviour and problem
gambling; if so, what conclusions it has drawn from the research
findings; and if not, why not.
57. The Department itself has commissioned no research specifically
on the Order. Such research would be difficult to carry out in
advance of the Order being made. The independent Gambling Review
Body however reviewed a wide range of research evidence relating
to machine gambling behaviour before endorsing the current proposal.
58. We are aware of a further review of the research evidence
commissioned by the Gambling Industry Charitable Trust and carried
out by independent consultants. This points to evidence that machines
can be set up in ways which increase the risks of excessive play,
but it does not identify any additional evidence to suggest that
there are significant risks in allowing players to insert value
into the machines in one form rather than another.
Q29 Why did the Department not seek the views of consultees
on dropping these forms of protection from the proposal?
59. We have explained above (Q.6, Q.18 and Q.20) why we have taken
the decision we have in respect of the requirement about payment
for a single play and crediting small amounts to smartcards.
60. The substance of the issue of accepting payment for a single
play had already been raised in the initial Home Office consultation
document, and its abandonment in the case of coin-only machines
did not raise any separate issues. The position we envisage whereby
machines can retain small amounts of money is essentially no different
from what pertains at present. In neither case did we consider
that issues of principle had arisen which would have required
a further round of consultation.
Whether the proposal requires elucidation, is not written in
plain English, or appears to be defectively drafted
Q30 Please indicate whether the Department agrees with the
Committee's analysis of the effect of the proposed order in this
respect. If so, how does the Department propose to redraft the
proposal to close this drafting loophole? If not, why does the
Department believe that the draft order, as presently drafted,
would have the effect of permitting higher-value AWP machines
to accept nothing other than banknotes and coins in payment?
61. As things stand higher-value AWP machines, though in practice
they operate on a coin only basis, are not prevented by law from
accepting tokens as a form of payment. Section 34(5B) provides
for the charge for play to be the same as that under section 34(2).
Section 34(2) provides for both coins and tokens.
62. What in practice makes higher value AWP machines coin only
is the restriction in subsection (5C) that the machines can only
pay out a money prize. The fact that prizes can only in practice
be made available for machines through the availability of the
monies used to play the machines means in practice that higher
value AWP machines are coin only.
63. The same practical reality will apply once the coins/ tokens
only restriction has been removed by the amendment to section
34(5B). Therefore, whilst section 34(5B) as proposed to be amended
will not directly impose a cash only restriction on the charge
for play, and therefore on the face of it would allow non-cash
forms of payment such as smartcards or credit cards, this restriction
is imposed in practice by the money prize requirement imposed
by section 34(5C).
64. Also, so far as smartcards are concerned, there will arguably
be no change to the present position. As explained at paragraphs
67-72 of the Home Office consultation document, the Gaming Board
already accepts that the Courts might rule that current law on
AWP machines, in allowing them to accept payments by 'token' would
also cover credits on a smartcard.
65. In the longer term, the Government intends that the proposed
Gambling Bill will specifically prohibit the use of credit cards
in all gaming machines.
Whether the proposal has been the subject of and takes appropriate
account of estimates of increases or reductions in costs and other
Q31 Given the very significant reduction in overall benefits
which the proposed order would now achieve, why has the Government
decided to press ahead with the proposal at this time and in this
66. The Department sees no reason not to proceed now with a modest
package of reform that will immediately deliver small, but real,
advantages to the industry. It hopes to be able to bring forward
a wider Gambling Bill next session, but at this stage of course
Ministers are not in a position to make any commitments with respect
to the availability of Parliamentary time.
Q32 Are operators of gaming machines in Great Britain at present
able to accept payment into machines in euro, and/or to pay out
in euro? Would the proposal lift any restrictions which presently
operate in this respect?
67. The Department and the Gaming Board consider it (at the least)
highly probable that the current legislation allows machines to
take payments, and make prizes, in Euros or any other currency
so long as the amounts in question do not exceed the maxima expressed
in Sterling in the Gaming Act. The proposal would make no difference
to the position.
Q33 Why were the implications of amending sections 34(5C) and
(5D) of the 1968 Act in December 2001 not realised, given that
the provisions of the proposed order, and of the Regulatory Reform
Bill, were known as early as March 2001?
68. The Order was not drafted until later in 2002. Until that
point in time specific consideration had not been given to the
particular amendments that would be required to give effect to
the proposals set out in the consultation document.
69. Even when, on drafting the order, it was appreciated that
section 34(5C) and (5D) would require amendment in a way that
might be incompatible with section 1(4) of the Regulatory Reform
Act 2001, the point was not clear cut. Section 1(4) prevents changes
to the law contained in any "provision" of an Act if
that provision has been amended by an Act etc. which has been
passed not more than 2 years before the date on which the order
is made. It was not immediately clear that the elements of section
34(5C) and (5D) which were amended- ie those that set the maximum
value of the prize from a higher- value AWP machine- formed part
of the same "provision" as those which laid down the
means by which a prize is to be delivered.
70. Had this problem been appreciated in late 2001 when the maximum
value laid down in sections 34(5C) and (5D) was changed, it would
have been necessary for the Government to consider whether that
uprating should go ahead. As the industry were urgently pressing
for the increase to £25, and the Gaming Board had endorsed
it, it is by no means clear that the Government would have decided
to delay it in favour of the prospective - and at that point still
undrafted - Regulatory Reform Order.
Q34 How soon after the expiry of the 60-day period for Parliamentary
consideration (presently estimated to expire on 4 June 2003) does
the Department envisage being able to lay the draft of this order
71. Subject to the Committee's report and
the report from the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee
of the House of Lords, and to the Government's consideration of
these reports, we would hope to be able to lay the Order at its
second stage in late June.
Q35 Assuming Parliamentary approval of the draft order, when
does the Minister expect to be in a position to make the order?
72. Depending on the availability of Parliamentary time, before
the Summer Recess.
Q36 What is the earliest date on which the Minister would be
able to make a regulatory reform order in the terms envisaged
in the March 2001 consultation document, having regard to the
provisions of section 1(4) of the Regulatory Reform Act?
73. 9 December 2003
Q37 Please indicate the date on which notification of the proposed
new technical standards was made to the Commission, and when the
Department expects to receive clearance of the new standards.
74. The Commission received the notification on 7 March 2003.
Member States are required to observe a three month standstill
period before the regulation is made or brought into force. This
is to provide an opportunity for the Commission and other Member
States to comment if they consider that the proposed regulation
has the potential to create a technical barrier to trade. The
standstill period ends on 9 June 2003.
75. The notification, number 2003/0088/UK, can be viewed on the
European Commission's web site at http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/tris
14 April 2003