Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Eighteenth Report

  SCHEDULE 5: Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in Wales

94.      Under clause 106, the Assembly is to become responsible for funding the Office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in Wales ("OHMCI").

        Schedule 5 sets out the new status of OHMCI, and its relationship with the Auditor General for Wales ("AGW"). It also details the applicable mechanisms for financial accountability and control.

95.Paragraph 2 provides that, notwithstanding clause 105, the Secretary of State may by order provide for OHMCI to be regarded as a Government department for the purposes of enactments in the order. Such an order is subject to the negative procedure.

  SCHEDULE 6: Forestry Commissioners

96.      Schedule 6 sets out the provisions for the role of the Secretary of State and the Assembly in respect of the exercise by the Forestry Commissioners of their functions as they relate to Wales.

97.      Under paragraph 1, the Secretary of State may by order make provision for the separate exercise of the Forestry Commissioners' functions in Wales. Such orders may amend or repeal enactments. Any such order is subject to the affirmative procedure by both Houses if it amends or repeals Acts, otherwise the negative procedure applies. Paragraph 2 enables the Commissioners, in respect of existing subordinate legislative powers that may be exercised in relation to Wales only, to exercise such powers differently for Wales subject to approval by the Assembly. Paragraph 2(2) disapplies Parliamentary procedures that might otherwise apply to such instruments made by the Commissioners. Paragraphs 2(4) and (5) deal with the situation where it is not practicable to comply with the paragraph 2(3) procedure.

98.      The schedule also empowers the Treasury to issue directions to the Commissioners on several issues: whether any funds received by the Commissioners should be paid into the Consolidated Fund (paragraph 4(2)) - and the Assembly can direct that payments are made to it (paragraph 4(3)); the form of and information relating to Forestry Commission accounts (paragraph 5(3)); and, the designation of the Commissioners' accounting officer for Wales (paragraph 7(1)).

99.      In addition, the Assembly can issue directions to the Commissioners about the timing of the submission, and its format, of a report by the Commissioners on the exercise of their functions as they relate to Wales (paragraph 10). Such reports are to be presented to, and published by, the Assembly.

  SCHEDULE 7: Devolution issues

100.      Schedule 7 sets out special judicial procedures by which disputes as to the Assembly's exercise of its powers are to be resolved at law. It sets out the circumstances in which these procedures are to apply in each part of the United Kingdom. The procedures are to apply to "devolution issues", that is, questions as to whether the Assembly's purported or proposed actions are within its statutory powers, compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights as incorporated in UK law, or compatible with relevant European Community obligations.

101.Paragraph 34 allows an Order in Council to: confer powers on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council relating to proceedings under this schedule; to apply the Judicial Committee Act 1833 to proceedings under this schedule, subject to exceptions and modifications; and to make rules for regulating proceedings before the Judicial Committee under this schedule.

102.      The Order in Council may also make consequential etc. provisions, including amendments to or repeals of, enactments (paragraph 34(2)).

103.      Orders in Council under paragraph 34 are to be subject to the affirmative procedure if they amend or repeal Acts. Otherwise, the negative procedure is to apply.

  Determinations by the Secretary of State

104.      There are a number of provisions within the Bill that confer a power of determination on the Secretary of State. Under clauses 16 and 18, the Secretary of State is able to set the initial level of salaries, allowances and pension provision for members of the Assembly. Such levels will take account of advice and guidance received from the Senior Salaries Review Board.

105.Clause 51 provides that a draft of the first Standing Orders of the Assembly will be prepared by Commissioners, appointed by the Secretary of State. Once prepared, the Commissioners shall submit the Standing Orders to the Secretary of State who will consider them. The Standing Orders shall then be made either as submitted, or with such modifications made by the Secretary of State as he considers appropriate.

106.Clause 52 provides for the Commissioners to hold office on such terms as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

April 1998

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