Assessment of the proposal against the
tests in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 and in
Standing Order No. 141(3)|
6. Section 1 of the LRRA states that the Minister
may by Order make any provision which he considers would serve
the purposes of removing or reducing any burden, or the overall
burdens, resulting directly or indirectly for any person from
any legislation. "Burden" is defined by section 1(3)
a) a financial cost;
b) an administrative inconvenience;
c) an obstacle to efficiency, productivity or
d) a sanction, criminal or otherwise, which affects
the carrying on of any lawful activity.
7. The Explanatory Document gives details of
a range of burdens which will be removed or reduced by the Order.
Most significant of these is the requirement under the current
system that approved verifiers who assess that equipment merely
needs to be adjusted must return for a second visit, when the
adjustment may take place and a local authority inspector is able
to verify and stamp the equipment. In the meantime, the pump must
either be withdrawn from use or operate at a setting which is
within the permitted margin of error but less accurate than may
be possible. If the draft Order is approved, the need for a second
visit would be overcome.
8. In identifying that requirement as a significant
burden the Department assumes that verification by adjusters is
not a permitted option as things stand. However, the contrary
might well be argued (i.e. that repair implicitly covers adjustment.)
If that is correct, there would be no direct burden to remove
or reduce. We accept that the position is unclear and that this
uncertainty operates as a burden in itself.
9. We therefore agree that the Order will
remove or reduce a burden which results from section 11A of the
Weights and Measures Act 1985.
10. Section 3(2) of the LRRA requires the Minister
to be satisfied that the draft Order meets certain preconditions.
These are that:
- the policy objective could
not be satisfactorily secured by non-legislative means;
- the effects of the proposed changes to the law
are proportionate to the policy objective;
- the proposed changes strike a fair balance between
public and private interests;
- the proposed change to the law does not deprive
anyone of a necessary protection;
- it will not prevent anyone from continuing to
exercise a right or freedom that they might reasonably expect
to continue to be allowed to do;
- it is not of "constitutional significance."
11. We are charged with assessing whether
the pre-conditions in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act
2006 (LRRA) have been met, as well as examining various tests
(those set out in Standing Order 151, appropriateness for delegated
legislation and compatibility with European Union obligations).
Having examined these, we believe that the draft Order meets all
relevant requirements and tests.
8 ED p10 paras 34-36 Back
Note that under section 1(2) of the 2006 Act burdens resulting
indirectly from legislation are covered as well as those that
result directly from it, and that legislation being hard to understand
can itself count as a burden - see section 1(6) as read with section