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Public Bill Committee: 24th January 2008                

357

 

Housing and Regeneration Bill, continued

 
 

(b)    

shall be treated as so executed unless the contrary is shown.’.

 


 

Information, advice &c.

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC37

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The regulator may for the purpose of advancing its fundamental objectives—

 

(a)    

publish ideas or information;

 

(b)    

undertake research in relation to social housing;

 

(c)    

provide guidance, advice, education or training.

 

(2)    

The regulator may for that purpose—

 

(a)    

arrange for another person to do anything within subsection (1)(a) to (c);

 

(b)    

act jointly with, cooperate with or assist another person doing anything

 

within subsection (1)(a) to (c).

 

(3)    

The persons to whom advice may be given under subsection (1) include—

 

(a)    

unregistered housing associations (as defined by section 2B of the

 

Housing Associations Act 1985 (c. 69)), and

 

(b)    

persons who may be forming a housing association (within the meaning

 

of section 1(1) of that Act).’.

 


 

Consent to disposals under other legislation

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC38

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘The Secretary of State’s functions under the following provisions are transferred

 

to the regulator in so far as they relate to disposals by registered providers—

 

(a)    

section 171D of the Housing Act 1985 (c. 68) (consent to certain

 

disposals of housing subject to the preserved right to buy), and

 

(b)    

section 81 and 133 of the Housing Act 1988 (c. 50) (consent to certain

 

disposals of housing obtained from housing action trusts or local

 

authorities).’.

 


 

Section (consent to disposals under other legislation): consequential amendments

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC39

 

To move the following Clause:—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 24th January 2008                

358

 

Housing and Regeneration Bill, continued

 
 

‘(1)    

In section 171D of the Housing Act 1985 (consent to certain disposals of housing

 

obtained subject to the preserved right to buy)—

 

(a)    

in subsection (2) (consent) for “Secretary of State” substitute

 

“appropriate authority”, and

 

(b)    

after that subsection insert—

 

“(2A)    

“The appropriate authority” means—

 

(a)    

in relation to a disposal of land in England by a

 

registered provider of social housing, the Regulator of

 

Social Housing,

 

(b)    

in relation to any other disposal of land in England, the

 

Secretary of State, and

 

(c)    

in relation to a disposal of land in Wales, the Welsh

 

Ministers.”

 

(2)    

In section 81 of the Housing Act 1988 (consent to certain disposals of housing

 

obtained from housing action trusts)—

 

(a)    

in subsection (3) (consent) for “Secretary of State” substitute

 

“appropriate authority”,

 

(b)    

after that subsection insert—

 

“(3A)    

In this section “the appropriate authority” means—

 

(a)    

in relation to a disposal of land in England by a

 

registered provider of social housing, the Regulator of

 

Social Housing,

 

(b)    

in relation to any other disposal of land in England, the

 

Secretary of State, and

 

(c)    

in relation to a disposal of land in Wales, the Welsh

 

Ministers.”,

 

(c)    

in subsection (5) (consultation of tenants) for “Secretary of State”

 

substitute “appropriate authority”,

 

(d)    

in subsection (5)(a) for “himself” substitute “itself”, and

 

(e)    

omit subsection (6) (consultation of Housing Corporation).

 

(3)    

In section 133 of that Act (consent to certain disposals of housing obtained from

 

local authorities)—

 

(a)    

in subsection (1) (consent) for “Secretary of State” substitute

 

“appropriate authority”,

 

(b)    

after that subsection insert—

 

“(1ZA)    

In this section “the appropriate authority” means—

 

(a)    

in relation to a disposal of land in England by a

 

registered provider of social housing, the Regulator of

 

Social Housing,

 

(b)    

in relation to any other disposal of land in England, the

 

Secretary of State, and

 

(c)    

in relation to a disposal of land in Wales, the Welsh

 

Ministers.”,

 

(c)    

in subsection (3)(c) (modification of certain provisions applied for the

 

purposes of section 133) after “this section,” insert “any reference to the

 

appropriate national body shall be construed as a reference to the

 

appropriate authority and”,

 

(d)    

in subsection (5) (consultation of tenants) for “Secretary of State”

 

substitute “appropriate authority”,

 

(e)    

in subsection (5)(a) for “himself” substitute “itself”, and


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 24th January 2008                

359

 

Housing and Regeneration Bill, continued

 
 

(f)    

omit subsection (6) (consultation of Housing Corporation).’.

 


 

Publication of performance information

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC40

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The regulator shall publish, at least once a year, information about the

 

performance of registered providers.

 

(2)    

In particular, the regulator shall include information likely to be useful to—

 

(a)    

tenants,

 

(b)    

potential tenants, and

 

(c)    

local authorities.’.

 


 

Inspector’s powers

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC41

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

An inspector appointed under section 181 may by notice require a person to

 

provide specified documents or information.

 

(2)    

The power under subsection (1) may be exercised only in relation to documents

 

and information of a kind in respect of which the regulator can impose a

 

requirement under section 104.

 

(3)    

Sections 104(3) to (7) and 105 apply for the purposes of subsection (1) (with any

 

necessary modifications).

 

(4)    

An inspector may at any reasonable time—

 

(a)    

enter premises occupied by the registered provider which is being

 

inspected, and

 

(b)    

inspect, copy or take away documents found there.

 

(5)    

An inspector may require any person on the premises to provide such facilities or

 

assistance as the inspector reasonably requests.

 

(6)    

It is an offence for a person without reasonable excuse to obstruct an inspector

 

exercising the powers conferred by subsection (4) or (5).

 

(7)    

A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not

 

exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

 

(8)    

Proceedings for an offence may be brought only by or with the consent of—

 

(a)    

the regulator, or

 

(b)    

the Director of Public Prosecutions.’.

 



 
 

Public Bill Committee: 24th January 2008                

360

 

Housing and Regeneration Bill, continued

 
 

Inquiry: charities

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC42

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

An inquiry may be held in relation to a registered charity only if it has received

 

public assistance.

 

(2)    

An inquiry in relation to a registered charity may only relate to its activities

 

relating to housing.

 

(3)    

If an inquiry is held in relation to a registered charity the regulator shall notify the

 

Charity Commission.’.

 


 

Use of proceeds

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC43

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Sums in a registered provider’s disposal proceeds fund may be used or allocated

 

only in accordance with a direction by the regulator.

 

(2)    

If at the end of a period specified by the regulator the disposal proceeds fund

 

includes sums which have not been allocated in accordance with subsection (1),

 

the regulator may require the registered provider to pay the sums to the HCA.’.

 


 

Notifying HCA

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC44

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘If the regulator gives an enforcement notice it must send a copy to the HCA.’.

 


 

Notifying HCA (NO.2)

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC45

 

To move the following Clause:—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 24th January 2008                

361

 

Housing and Regeneration Bill, continued

 
 

‘If the regulator imposes a penalty it must send a copy of the penalty notice to the

 

HCA.’.

 


 

Impact

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC46

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

This section applies when the regulator is considering—

 

(a)    

whether to award compensation, or

 

(b)    

the amount of compensation to award.

 

(2)    

The regulator must take account of any information available to it about the

 

financial situation of the registered provider.

 

(3)    

The regulator must consider the likely impact of the compensation on the

 

registered provider’s ability to provide services.

 

(4)    

In particular, the regulator must aim to avoid—

 

(a)    

jeopardising the financial viability of the registered provider,

 

(b)    

preventing the registered provider from honouring financial

 

commitments, or

 

(c)    

preventing the registered provider from taking action to remedy the

 

matters on the grounds of which the compensation might be awarded.’.

 


 

Suspension during inquiry

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC47

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The regulator may make an order under this section if—

 

(a)    

an inquiry under section 183 is in progress in respect of a non-profit

 

registered provider, and

 

(b)    

either of the following cases applies.

 

(2)    

Case 1 applies if the regulator has reasonable grounds for believing—

 

(a)    

that the registered provider has failed to meet a standard under section

 

173 or 174 or that its affairs have been mismanaged, and

 

(b)    

that the interests of tenants of the registered provider, or its assets, require

 

protection.

 

(3)    

Case 2 applies if as a result of  an inquirer’s interim report under section 184 the

 

regulator is satisfied—

 

(a)    

that the registered provider has failed to meet a standard under section

 

173 or 174, or

 

(b)    

that its affairs have been mismanaged.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 24th January 2008                

362

 

Housing and Regeneration Bill, continued

 
 

(4)    

The regulator may by order suspend any officer, employee or agent of the

 

registered provider who it thinks has contributed to the failure or

 

mismanagement.

 

(5)    

The regulator may suspend an officer, employee or agent of a registered charity

 

only if the charity has received public assistance.

 

(6)    

An order ceases to have effect at the end of the period of 6 months beginning with

 

the day on which the inquirer’s final report under section 184 is made.

 

(7)    

But the regulator may revoke an order before the end of that period.

 

(8)    

The regulator shall notify the Charity Commission if it suspends an officer,

 

employee or agent of a registered charity.’.

 


 

Removal or suspension following inquiry

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC48

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

This section applies if as a result of an inquiry under section 183 or an audit under

 

section 186 the regulator is satisfied—

 

(a)    

that a non-profit registered provider has failed to meet a standard under

 

section 173 or 174, or

 

(b)    

that the affairs of a non-profit registered provider have been mismanaged.

 

(2)    

The regulator may by order remove any officer, employee or agent of the

 

registered provider who it thinks has contributed to the failure or

 

mismanagement.

 

(3)    

Pending a decision whether to remove an officer, employee or agent, the regulator

 

may by order suspend the person for a specified period of up to 6 months.

 

(4)    

The regulator may remove or suspend an officer, employee or agent of a

 

registered charity only if the charity has received public assistance.

 

(5)    

Before making an order the regulator must take all reasonable steps to give at least

 

14 days’ notice to—

 

(a)    

the person, and

 

(b)    

the registered provider.

 

(6)    

The regulator shall notify the Charity Commission if it removes or suspends an

 

officer, employee or agent of a registered charity.’.

 


 

Suspension under section (suspension during inquiry) or (removal or suspension

 

following inquiry): supplemental

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC49

 

To move the following Clause:—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 24th January 2008                

363

 

Housing and Regeneration Bill, continued

 
 

‘(1)    

This section applies where the regulator suspends an officer, employee or agent

 

of a registered provider under section (suspension during inquiry) or (removal or

 

suspension following inquiry).

 

(2)    

The regulator may give directions to the registered provider about—

 

(a)    

the performance of the suspended person’s functions, and

 

(b)    

any other matter arising from the suspension.

 

(3)    

The regulator may appoint a person to perform the suspended person’s

 

functions.’.

 


 

Appeal against removal or suspension

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC50

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘A person removed or suspended under section 231, (suspension during inquiry)

 

or (removal or suspension following inquiry) may appeal to the High Court.’.

 


 

Disqualification of removed person

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

NC51

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

A person is disqualified from acting as an officer of a registered provider if the

 

person has been removed under—

 

(a)    

section (removal or suspension following inquiry), or

 

(b)    

paragraph 24(2)(a) of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1996 (c. 52), section

 

30(1)(a) of the Housing Associations Act 1985 (c. 69) or section 20(1)(a)

 

of the Housing Act 1974 (c. 44) (other similar provisions).

 

(2)    

The regulator may waive a disqualification either generally or in relation to a

 

particular registered provider or class of registered providers.

 

(3)    

A waiver may be granted only on an application by the disqualified person.

 

(4)    

The regulator shall notify a person whose disqualification is waived.

 

(5)    

If a disqualified person acts as an officer of a registered provider, the person’s acts

 

are not invalid by reason only of the disqualification.’.

 



 
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