1.Thank you for your letter dated 4 March 2020 in which you requested a memorandum on two points arising from the Committee’s consideration of the Victims’ Payments Regulations 2020. The Department’s response on both points is set out below. We acknowledge that an error has been made and undertake to make an amending instrument before the relevant provision comes into force. We would like to thank the Committee for their assistance and we apologise that the errors were made.
1. What wording is missing from regulation 49(3) (inserted paragraph (1)(a))?
2.The wording of the inserted paragraph (a)(a) should be as follows (the missing words are underlined):
“that the person is incapable, by reason of mental disorder, of managing and administering their property and affairs;”
3.In the Department’s view, this error is not amenable to correction via correction slip. That is because the text and location of the correction is not obvious. Consequently, the Department undertakes to correct this error by amending regulation 49(3) to insert the missing words.
2. Explain why regulation 34(1) does not include a determination under regulation 43.
4.The policy intention is that where a review has been undertaken under regulation 43 and, as a consequence of that review, a new determination has been made, that determination should be capable of being appealed under regulation 34. The Department is of the view that it is arguable that the current drafting supports the policy intention.
5.If we take as an example a determination under regulation 12(3)(c), that determination could be the subject of a review under regulation 43 and, as per paragraph (6)(b) of that regulation, the review panel would have the power to make a new determination. In our view it is arguable that provision confers on the review panel the power to make a new determination under regulation 12(3)(c). And accordingly, the new determination may be subject to an appeal under regulation 34(1).
6.However, the Department concedes that this point could be clearer and will address this point at the same time as correcting the error in regulation 43.
Northern Ireland Office
10 March 2020
Published: 20 March 2020