Joint Committee on Human Rights Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from the Paymaster General to the Chairman of the Committee

  Thank you for your letter of 8 February to Gordon Brown requesting information on how the Human Rights Act as affected HM Treasury. I am replying as Minister responsible for the Treasury.

  As the Treasury does not have substantial direct dealings with the public, or responsibility for large numbers of public authorities, the impact of the Act on the Treasury is more limited than for other departments. The implications of the Act for the domestic Treasury are mainly at arm's length through its contact with other spending departments. Nevertheless Ministers have been briefed on the Act and policy decisions are made with the Act in mind to ensure compatibility with the Convention as far as possible.

  Treasury teams have been sent copies of both Putting Rights into Public Service, an introduction for Public Authorities, and A New Era of Rights and Responsibilities, core guidance for Public Authorities. Teams have also held discussion meetings on the Human Rights Act and its implications for the Treasury. Training on the Act is provided as part of the Public Policy Administration level 2 course, which the Treasury runs internally.

  Since section 19 came into force statements of compatibility have accompanied Treasury legislation in respect of the Financial Services and Markets Bill, the Government Resource Accounting Bill and the Finance Bill. We do no anticipate that the process of making statements on compatibility for future legislation will cause any problems.

Dawn Primarolo

6 March 2001

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