Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Ninth Report



  33.    The Department's memorandum (printed in the Annex to this report) draws attention to the powers and the Parliamentary control provided in the bill. We have confined our comments to the most significant powers.

Affirmative powers

  34.    This bill contains a number of powers made subject to affirmative resolution procedure, which the Committee considers appropriate. Clause 6 establishes the New Opportunities Fund. The clause inserts new sections in the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 and section 43 B(1) enables the Secretary of State to specify by order the "initiatives concerned or connected with health education or the environment" which the Fund is to support. This power is subject to affirmative procedure (unless clause 7(6) applies or the order simply revokes an earlier order when negative procedure applies). Clause 13 amends the 1993 Act to apply these procedures.

  35.    Clause 14 establishes the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). Clause 15(2) sets out the means by which NESTA is to achieve its objects and, if NESTA so requests, the Secretary of State may amend that subsection to add to, remove or vary any of these means (subsection (3)). Subsection (4) applies affirmative procedure to this Henry VIII power.

  36.    Clause 17 provides NESTA with its funds. Subsection (1) provides the initial endowment and subsection (2) allows the Secretary of State to provide by order for the payment of further sums from the National Lottery Distribution Fund to NESTA. Subsection (8) applies affirmative procedure.

  37.    Clause 10 provides for joint schemes for the distribution of Lottery funds by distributing bodies. Schedule 3 inserts in the 1993 Act a new Schedule about joint schemes. Paragraph 2(1) of that Schedule provides that where a particular joint scheme involves the distribution of more than £5 million in any year, the scheme requires the authority of the Secretary of State (by order subject to negative procedure, unless it is mere revocation in which case it is simply laid before Parliament - see new subsections (3A) and (3B) in clause 13(5)). Paragraph 2(5) allows the Secretary of State by order to increase the monetary limit in paragraph 2(1). Affirmative procedure is applied to this Henry VIII power by the amendments made by clause 13.

Negative powers

  38.    Clause 6 and paragraph 2(1) of the Schedule inserted by Schedule 3 to the bill have been mentioned above. Other negative powers are in clause 2(1) (new section 10A(6) and (7)), Schedule 2 (paragraph 1(3) of the new Schedule 6A) and paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 4. Of these the last two require examination as they are Henry VIII powers.

  39.    Clause 7(6) is concerned with an initial order under section 43B of the 1993 Act (see clause 6 above) and reduces affirmative procedure to negative if the order is confined to the initiatives which were the subject of consultation before clause 6 comes into force. The Department's Explanatory Memorandum explains that clause 7(6) relates to the Government's plans for the first three initiatives to be funded by the Fund, namely out of school hours activities, training for teachers and librarians in information and communications technology and healthy living centres. The House may wish to seek an undertaking from the Minister that clause 7(6) will be limited to the three initiatives referred to in paragraph 2.2.5 of the Memorandum.

  40.    Paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 6A allows the Secretary of State to amend paragraph 1(1). Amendments are limited to changing the number of members of the New Opportunities Fund; negative procedure has been considered appropriate in the past for such a power and the Committee considers it appropriate in this instance.

  41.    Paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 4 is similar in that it enables the Secretary of State to increase the number of trustees of NESTA. Again the Committee considers negative procedure appropriate.


  42.    The Committee draws the attention of the House to the inclusion in the bill of Henry VIII powers. There is nothing else in the bill to which the House's attention need be drawn.[2]

Request for evidence

The Committee requests submissions in writing no later than Monday 19 January on the following proposal for a draft deregulation order laid before the House on the date shown. Copies of the proposal and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum are available to Peers from the Printed Paper Office-

Draft Deregulation (Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles) Order 1998 (9 December)

2   This report is also published on the Internet at the House of Lords Select Committees Home Page (, where further information about the work of the Committee is also available. Back

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Prepared 19 December 1997