Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Seventh Report


Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


  1. The Committee requested a memorandum on the following point:

    "As respects paragraph (b) of the new subsection (4A) inserted in section 18 of the Act, explain whether the circumstances in which the Minister is empowered to withhold aid will be specified in the agreement itself or may be specified outside the agreement. If the latter, how will the other party to the agreement be made aware of the circumstances in which the Minister may withhold payment?"

  2. Subsection (4A), so far as is relevant, reads as follows:

    " . . . an agreement under subsection (3) may contain . . . (b) provision for payments by the Minister to be withheld in specified circumstances".

  3. The subsection was drafted on the basis that the circumstances in which payments might be withheld would be required to be specified in the agreement, as implied by the introductory words "an agreement may contain". The draftsman preferred the use of "specified circumstances" over the longer "circumstances specified in the agreement", which would also have been apt.

  4. Accordingly, the answer to the question whether the circumstances may be specified outside the agreement is "no", and the remainder of the Committee's query is therefore inapplicable.

  5. As subsection (4A) was drafted in Parliamentary Counsel's office, this response has been agreed with them.

7th July 1997

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