Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-First Report

Appendix 1

S.I. 2003/1113: memorandum from the Department for Transport

Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/1113)

1. The Joint Committee asked the Department for Transport to submit a memorandum on the following points:

Regulation 3(1)(e) inserts a definition of "proper officer" in relation to a designated council in England or Wales. Why is the expression not defined in relation to a designated council in Scotland?

Regulation 21 inserts a new regulation 25A in the principal Regulations, paragraphs (4) and (5) of which provide for apparatus to be replaced free of charge where it has become unserviceable by reason of fair wear and tear. Is it intended that a charge must be paid where replacement is necessary because the apparatus supplied by the Secretary of State is defective, and if not, why is no provision made for such a case?

2. As to the first point, the Department regrets the omission of a definition of "proper officer" in relation to Scotland. A definition had been included in early drafts of the Regulations. Its inadvertent omission from later drafts had not been noticed. The Department intends to make further amendments to the principal Regulations later this year (draft amendments are currently the subject of consultation), and will rectify the omission at that stage. The absence of a definition relevant to designated councils in Scotland is unlikely to cause any practical difficulty since the term "proper officer" should be familiar to those who work for Scottish local authorities.

3. As to the second point, the Secretary of State would not seek to make a charge for the replacement of apparatus that was faulty on delivery. The Department concedes that "fair wear and tear" is not apt in relation to apparatus that is defective when supplied. It is intended to include appropriate amendments in the set of further amendments that are to be made later this year. The Joint Committee may wish to know that the first supply of apparatus for purposes of the Regulations is not expected to take place this year.

16th May 2003

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