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House of Commons Standing Orders - Public Business

 

maintenance and accessibility of those registers as are

 

approved by the Committee on Standards and

 

Privileges or an appropriate sub‑committee thereof;

 

(b) to provide advice confidentially to Members and other

 

persons or bodies subject to registration on matters

 

relating to the registration of individual interests;

 

(c) to advise the Committee on Standards and Privileges,

 

its sub‑committees and individual Members on the

 

interpretation of any code of conduct to which the

 

House has agreed and on questions of propriety;

 

(d) to monitor the operation of such code and registers,

 

and to make recommendations thereon to the

 

Committee on Standards and Privileges or an

 

appropriate sub‑committee thereof; and

 

(e) to receive and, if he thinks fit, investigate specific

 

complaints from Members and from members of the

 

public in respect of—

 

(i) the registration or declaration of interests, or

 

(ii) other aspects of the propriety of a Member’s

 

conduct,

 

and to report to the Committee on Standards and

 

Privileges or to an appropriate sub‑committee thereof

 

unless the provisions of paragraph (3) apply.

 

(3) No report shall be made by the Commissioner—

 

(a) in any case where the Member concerned has agreed

 

that he has failed to register or declare an interest, if it

 

is the Commissioner’s opinion that the interest

 

involved is minor, or the failure was inadvertent, and

 

the Member concerned has taken such action by way of

 

rectification as the Commissioner may have required

 

within any procedure approved by the Committee for

 

this purpose; and

 

(b) in any case involving parliamentary allowances, or the

 

use of facilities or services, if the Commissioner has

 

with the agreement of the Member concerned referred

 

the matter to the relevant Officer of the House for the

 

purpose of securing appropriate financial

 

reimbursement, and the Member has made such

 

reimbursement within such period of time as the

 

Commissioner considers reasonable.

 

(4) The Commissioner may at any time in the course of

 

investigating a complaint, and if so requested by the

 

Committee on Standards and Privileges shall, appoint an

 

Investigatory Panel to assist him in establishing the facts

 

relevant to the investigation.

 

(5) An Investigatory Panel shall—

 

(a) consist of the Commissioner, who shall be Chairman

 

of the Panel, and two assessors, one of whom shall be a

 

legally qualified person appointed by the

 

Commissioner and the other shall be a Member, who

 

shall not be a member of the Committee on Standards

 

and Privileges, appointed by the Speaker; and

 

(b) meet in private.

 

(6) The Commissioner—

 

(a) shall determine the procedures of the Panel, subject to

 

the provisions of this order; and

 

(b) may appoint counsel for the purpose of assisting the

 

Panel.

 

(7) Any report that the Commissioner may have made to the

 

Committee on Standards and Privileges in relation to the

 

complaint before the appointment of the Panel shall be made

 

available to the Panel by the Committee.

 

(8) Any Member who is the subject of the complaint under

 

investigation shall, if he so requests, be heard by the Panel;

 

may call witnesses; and may examine other witnesses.

 

(9) When the Panel has completed its proceedings—

 

(a) the Commissioner shall report as in paragraph (2)(e);

 

(b) the legal assessor shall report to the Committee on

 

Standards and Privileges his opinion as to the extent to

 

which its proceedings have been consistent with the

 

principles of natural justice; and

 

(c) the Member assessor may report to the Committee on

 

Standards and Privileges his opinion as to the extent to

 

which its proceedings have had regard to the customs

 

and practice of the House and its Members.

 

(10) The Commissioner shall report each year to the House

 

on the exercise by him of his functions.

 

(11) The Commissioner may be dismissed only following a

 

resolution of the House, moved for by a Member of the House

 

of Commons Commission, after the Committee on Standards

 

and Privileges has reported to the House that it is satisfied that

 

the Commissioner is unfit to hold his office or unable to carry

 

out his functions; and any such report shall include a statement

 

of the Committee’s reasons for its conclusion.

 
 

Statutory

 

Instruments

 

(Joint

 

Committee).

 

 

151.—(1) A select committee shall be appointed to join with

 

a committee appointed by the Lords to consider—

 

(A) every instrument which is laid before each House of

 

Parliament and upon which proceedings may be or

 

might have been taken in either House of Parliament, in

 

pursuance of an Act of Parliament, being—

 

(a) a statutory instrument, or a draft statutory

 

instrument;

 

(b) a scheme, or an amendment of a scheme, or a

 

draft thereof, requiring approval by statutory

 

instrument;

 

(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; or

 

(d) an order subject to special parliamentary

 

procedure;

 

but excluding any Order in Council or draft Order in

 

Council made or proposed to be made under paragraph

 

1(1) of the Schedule to the Northern Ireland Act 2000,

 

any draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of

 

the Regulatory Reform Act 2001, or any subordinate

 

provisions order made or proposed to be made under

 

that Act, and any remedial order or draft remedial order

 

under Schedule 2 to the Human Rights Act 1998;

 

(B) every general statutory instrument not within the

 

foregoing classes, and not within paragraph (10) of this

 

order, but not including any statutory instrument made

 

by a member of the Scottish Executive or by the

 

National Assembly for Wales unless it is required to be

 

laid before Parliament or either House of Parliament

 

and not including measures under the Church of

 

England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and instruments

 

made under such measures:

 

with a view to determining whether the special attention of the

 

House should be drawn to it on any of the following grounds—

 

(i) that it imposes a charge on the public revenues or

 

contains provisions requiring payments to be made to

 

the Exchequer or any government department or to any

 

local or public authority in consideration of any licence

 

or consent or of any services to be rendered, or

 

prescribes the amount of any such charge or payment;

 

(ii) that it is made in pursuance of any enactment

 

containing specific provisions excluding it from

 

challenge in the courts, either at all times or after the

 

expiration of a specific period;

 

(iii) that it purports to have retrospective effect where the

 

parent statute confers no express authority so to

 

provide;

 

(iv) that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in

 

the publication or in the laying of it before Parliament;

 

(v) that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in

 

sending a notification under the proviso to section 4(1)

 

of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946, where an

 

instrument has come into operation before it has been

 

laid before Parliament;

 

(vi) that there appears to be a doubt whether it is intra

 

vires or that it appears to make some unusual or

 

unexpected use of the powers conferred by the statute

 

under which it is made;

 

(vi) that for any special reason its form or purport calls for

 

elucidation;

 

(vii) that its drafting appears to be defective;

 

or on any other ground which does not impinge on its merits or

 

on the policy behind it; and to report its decision with the

 

reasons thereof in any particular case.

 

(2) The quorum of the committee shall be two.

 

(3) The committee shall have power to appoint one or more

 

sub‑committees severally to join with any sub‑committee or

 

sub‑committees appointed by the committee appointed by the

 

Lords; and to refer to such sub‑committee or sub‑committees

 

any of the matters referred to the committee.

 

(4) The committee and any sub‑committee appointed by it

 

shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker and, if

 

their Lordships think fit, of the Counsel to the Lord Chairman

 

of Committees.

 

(5) The committee shall have power to sit notwithstanding

 

any adjournment of the House and to report from time to time,

 

and any sub‑committee appointed by it shall have power to sit

 

notwithstanding any adjournment of the House.

 

(6) The committee and any sub‑committee appointed by it

 

shall have power to require any government department

 

concerned to submit a memorandum explaining any instrument

 

which may be under its consideration or to depute a

 

representative to appear before it as a witness for the purpose

 

of explaining any such instrument.

 

(7) The committee and any sub‑committee appointed by it

 

shall have power to take evidence, written or oral, from Her

 

Majesty’s Stationery Office, relating to the printing and

 

publication of any instrument.

 

(8) The committee shall have power to report to the House

 

from time to time any memorandum submitted to it or other

 

evidence taken before it or any sub‑committee appointed by it

 

from any government department in explanation of any

 

instruments.

 

(9) It shall be an instruction to the committee that before

 

reporting that the special attention of the House be drawn to

 

any instrument the committee do afford to any government

 

department concerned therewith an opportunity of furnishing

 

orally or in writing to it or to any sub‑committee appointed by

 

it such explanations as the department think fit.

 

(10) It shall be an instruction to the committee that it shall

 

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 a draft of a statutory

 

instrument;

 

(b) a scheme, or an amendment to 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;

 

and that it have power to draw such instruments to the special

 

attention of the House on any of the grounds on which the Joint

 

Committee is empowered so to draw the special attention of the

 

House; and that in considering any such instrument the

 

committee do not join with the committee appointed by the

 

Lords.


 
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Revised 19 April 2007