DRAFT REGULATORY REFORM BILL
Letter to the Chairman from Charles Falconer
QC, Minister of State, Cabinet Office
I am writing to thank you for your Committee's 15th
Report on the publication of the draft Regulatory Reform Bill.
I had hoped that we would by now have been able to
introduce the Bill, and that its introduction would have been
the proper response to the report. We remain committed to bringing
the Bill forward as soon as Parliamentary time allows.
I am grateful for the carefulness and speed with
which the Committee has examined the Bill, and I entirely accept
your conclusion that "the main issue which the present draft
Bill raises - the considerable widening of the power to legislate
by order - is one for the House of a whole to decide". The
Memorandum to your Committee that will accompany the Bill's First
Reading in the Lords will deal in detail with the issues of principle
and of implementation that you have raised.
On a separate note, I would welcome the opportunity
to discuss with you the Committee's attitude to using the provision
at clause 5(4) of the Bill, which permits consultation on prospective
RROs before Royal Assent. Neither your committee not your counterpart
in the Commons has commented on this provision (which mirrors
section 3(6) of the DCOA). Allowing such consultation would be
extremely useful in ensuring an early supply of consultation under
the new order making programme and would make it much easier for
us to provide more concrete examples of prospective orders for
use in debate on the Bill. But clearly we would not want to infringe
Parliamentary privilege in doing so. I look forward to discussing
this issue with you in the very near future.
I am copying this letter to Graham Stringer and Mo
Mowlam as well as to Lord Carter, Baroness Jay, Ann Taylor and