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Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Bill


Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Bill

1

 

A

Bill

To

Make provision for the appointment of an Independent Milk Ombudsman

and for his functions, including undertaking investigations and research into

the price structure of the milk market; to make provision about the milk

industry; and for connected purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1       

Establishment of the Ombudsman

(1)   

There are to be offices of—

(a)   

the Milk Ombudsman for Wales, and

(b)   

the Milk Ombudsman for England.

(2)   

The Schedule has effect with respect to the Ombudsmen.

5

2       

General functions of the Ombudsman

(1)   

The National Assembly for Wales shall prescribe by regulations the functions

of the Milk Ombudsman for Wales.

(2)   

The Secretary of State shall prescribe by regulations the functions of the Milk

Ombudsman for England.

10

(3)   

Regulations under subsections (1) and (2) may make provision for the

Ombudsman to—

(a)   

undertake investigations into, and publish recommendations about,

the dairy industry, the market for milk and milk pricing, including how

to bring about what in his opinion would be a fair price for farmers;

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(b)   

call for and publish written evidence and hold oral evidence sessions in

public;

(c)   

encourage the publication of information about the dairy market and

facilitate its communication to dairy farmers;

(d)   

investigate complaints about the dairy industry, the market for milk

20

and milk pricing and publish recommendations;

 
Bill 66 53/3
 
 

Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Bill

2

 

(e)   

require those who do not implement recommendations made under

paragraphs (a) or (d) to report to them their reasons for not doing so;

(f)   

encourage persons in, or engaged in activities affecting, the dairy

industry to take account of the views and interests of dairy farmers;

(g)   

monitor the operation of existing voluntary and statutory codes of

5

practice relating to the dairy industry;

(h)   

advise the National Assembly for Wales, the Secretary of State and the

Milk Development Council about the interests of dairy farmers;

(i)   

facilitate the work of the Dairy Supply Chain Forum;

(j)   

co-operate with other public bodies, including the Milk Development

10

Council.

(4)   

Regulations made by the Secretary of State under this section shall not come

into effect unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and approved

by resolution of, each House of Parliament.

3       

Annual reports of the Ombudsman

15

(1)   

As soon as possible after the end of each financial year the Ombudsman shall

report on—

(a)   

the way in which he has discharged his functions under section 2

during the year,

(b)   

his findings in the course of exercising those functions during the year,

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and

(c)   

the matters that he intends to consider, or undertake investigations

into, during the next financial year.

(2)   

Where the Milk Ombudsman for Wales reports under this section he must send

a copy of the report to the National Assembly for Wales.

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(3)   

Where the Milk Ombudsman for England reports under this section he must—

(a)   

lay a copy of the report before each House of Parliament, and

(b)   

send a copy of the report to the Secretary of State.

(4)   

In this section, “financial year” has the same meaning as in paragraph 8 of the

Schedule.

30

4       

Money

(1)   

There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament

(a)   

any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State by virtue of this Act, and

(b)   

any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable out of money so

provided by virtue of any other enactment.

35

5       

Short title, commencement and extent

(1)   

This Act may be cited as the Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Act 2004.

(2)   

This Act shall come into force on the day on which it is passed.

(3)   

This Act extends to England and Wales only.

 

 

Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Bill
Schedule — Milk Ombudsmen

3

 

Schedule

Section 1

 

Milk Ombudsmen

Status

1     (1)  

An Ombudsman is a corporation sole.

      (2)  

An Ombudsman is not to be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown

5

or as enjoying any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown; and his

property is not to be regarded as property of, or property held on behalf of,

the Crown.

General powers

2     (1)  

An Ombudsman may do anything which appears to him to be necessary or

10

expedient for the purpose of, or in connection with, the exercise of his

functions.

      (2)  

In particular he may—

(a)   

co-operate with other public authorities in the United Kingdom;

(b)   

enter into contracts; and

15

(c)   

acquire, hold and dispose of any property.

Appointment and tenure of office

3     (1)  

The Milk Ombudsman for Wales is to be appointed by the National

Assembly for Wales.

      (2)  

The Milk Ombudsman for England is to be appointed by the Secretary of

20

State.

      (3)  

Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, a person shall hold and vacate

office as a Milk Ombudsman in accordance with the terms and conditions of

his appointment as determined by the Secretary of State or the National

Assembly.

25

      (4)  

An appointment as a Milk Ombudsman shall be for a term not exceeding

five years.

      (5)  

A person who has held office as a Milk Ombudsman is eligible for

reappointment once only.

      (6)  

A Commissioner may at any time resign by notice in writing—

30

(a)   

in the case of the Milk Ombudsman for Wales, to the National

Assembly for Wales.

(b)   

in the case of the Milk Ombudsman for England, to the Secretary of

State;

      (7)  

The National Assembly for Wales may remove the Milk Ombudsman for

35

Wales from office if it is satisfied that he has—

(a)   

become unfit or unable properly to discharge his functions; or

(b)   

behaved in a way that is not compatible with his continuing in office.

 

 

Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Bill
Schedule — Milk Ombudsmen

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      (8)  

The Secretary of State may remove the Milk Ombudsman for England from

office if he is satisfied that he has—

(a)   

become unfit or unable properly to discharge his functions; or

(b)   

behaved in a way that is not compatible with his continuing in office.

Remuneration

5

4     (1)  

The National Assembly must—

(a)   

pay the Milk Ombudsman for Wales such remuneration and allowances,

and

(b)   

pay or make provision for the payment of such pension or gratuities to or in

respect of him,

10

           

as may be provided under the terms of his appointment.

      (2)  

The Secretary of State must—

(a)   

pay the Milk Ombudsman for England such remuneration and allowances,

and

(b)   

pay or make provision for the payment of such pension or gratuities to or in

15

respect of him,

           

as may be provided under the terms of his appointment.

Staff

5     (1)  

An Ombudsman may appoint any staff he considers necessary for assisting

him in the exercise of his functions, one of whom shall be appointed as

20

Deputy Ombudsman.

      (2)  

During any vacancy in the office of an Ombudsman or at any time when an

Ombudsman is for any reason unable to act, the Deputy Ombudsman shall

exercise his functions (and any property or rights vested in the Ombudsman

may accordingly be dealt with by the Deputy Ombudsman as if vested in

25

him).

      (3)  

Without prejudice to sub-paragraph (2), any member of an Ombudsman’s

staff may, so far as authorised by him, exercise any of his functions.

Pensions

6     (1)  

In the Superannuation Act 1972 (c. 11), in Schedule 1 (kinds of employment

30

etc to which section 1 of that Act applies)—

(a)   

in the list of “Other Bodies”, at the end insert “Employment by a Milk

Ombudsman”;

(b)   

in the list of “Offices”, at the appropriate place insert “Milk

Ombudsman”.

35

      (2)  

The Secretary of State must pay to the Minister for the Civil Service, at such times

as the Minister may direct, such sums as he may determine in respect of any increase

attributable to sub-paragraph (1) in the sums payable out of money provided by

Parliament under the Superannuation Act 1972.

Funding

40

7     (1)  

The National Assembly may make payments to the Milk Ombudsman for for Wales

of such amounts, at such times and on such conditions (if any) as the National

Assembly considers appropriate.

 

 

Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Bill
Schedule — Milk Ombudsmen

5

 

      (2)  

The Secretary of State may make payments to the Milk Ombudsman for England of

such amounts, at such times and on such conditions (if any) as the Secretary of State

considers appropriate.

Accounts

8     (1)  

The Milk Ombudsman for Wales must—

5

(a)   

keep proper accounting records;

(b)   

prepare a statement of accounts for each financial year; and

(c)   

send a copy of each such statement of accounts to the National

Assembly, the Secretary of State and the Comptroller and Auditor

General as soon as possible after the end of the financial year to

10

which the statement relates.

      (2)  

The Milk Ombudsman for England must—

(a)   

keep proper accounting records;

(b)   

prepare a statement of accounts for each financial year; and

(c)   

send a copy of each such statement of accounts to the Secretary of

15

State and the Comptroller and Auditor General as soon as possible

after the end of the financial year to which the statement relates.

      (3)  

The Comptroller and Auditor General must examine, certify and report on

each statement of accounts sent to him under sub-paragraphs (1)(c) and

(2)(c) and must lay copies of the statement and of his report before

20

Parliament.

      (4)  

In this paragraph, “financial year” means—

(a)   

in relation to England or Wales, the period beginning with the date

on which the first Milk Ombudsman is appointed and ending with

31st March next following that date; and

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(b)   

each successive period of twelve months ending with 31st March.

Evidence

9          

A document purporting to be duly executed under the seal of the Milk

Ombudsman or to be signed by him or on his behalf is to be received in

evidence and, unless the contrary is proved, taken to be so executed or

30

signed.

Regulated positions

10         

In the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c. 43), in section 36(6)

(meaning of “regulated position”), after paragraph (g) insert—

(ga)   

Milk Ombudsman for Wales and Deputy Milk Ombudsman

35

appointed under the Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc.

Act 2004,”.

“(gb)   

Milk Ombudsman for England and Deputy Milk

Ombudsman appointed under the Independent Milk

Ombudsman, etc. Act 2004,

40

Disqualifications

11    (1)  

Schedule 1 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 24)

(Offices disqualifying for membership) is amended as follows.

 

 

Independent Milk Ombudsman, etc. Bill
Schedule — Milk Ombudsmen

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      (2)  

In Part III, there is inserted—

   

“Milk Ombudsman for Wales and Deputy Milk Ombudsman.

   

“Milk Ombudsman for England and Deputy Milk

Ombudsman.”.

 

 

 
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Revised 14 October 2004