Equality Bill [HL]—continued
        House of Lords



Section 38(4)



1 (1) The Commission is to consist of not fewer than seven and not more than nine commissioners to be appointed by the Secretary of State.
(2)    Each of the commissioners is to be appointed by the Secretary of State.
(3)    One of the commissioners is to be appointed as chief commissioner to preside over the discharge of the Commission's functions.
2 (1) The commissioners must hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of their appointment.
(2)    It is to be a term of appointment that a commissioner must not hold any other appointment, employment or office.
(3)    The chief commissioner ceases to hold that office if he ceases to be a commissioner.
(4)    No person may be appointed as a commissioner for a term exceeding five years.
(5)    But a person who ceases to be a commissioner is eligible for re-appointment.
(6)    A commissioner may resign by giving notice to the Secretary of State.
(7)    The Secretary of State may remove a commissioner from office by giving notice to him if he is satisfied—
(a)    that the commissioner has without reasonable excuse failed to discharge his functions for a continuous period of three months (beginning not earlier than six months before the day of dismissal);
(b)    that he has been convicted of a criminal offence;
(c)    that a bankruptcy order has been made against him, or his estate has been sequestrated, or he has made a composition or arrangement with, or has granted a trust deed for, his creditors; or
(d)    that he is unable or unfit to carry out his functions.

3         The Secretary of State may pay to or in respect of commissioners such remuneration, expenses and sums for the provision of pensions as he may determine. Staff

4 (1) The Commission may, with the approval of the Secretary of State as to numbers and terms and conditions of service—
(a)    appoint such staff as it considers necessary; and
(b)    use the services of such other persons as the Commission considers expedient for any particular purpose.
(2)    The Commission may, in the case of such staff as may be determined by it with the approval of the Secretary of State, pay such pensions, allowances or gratuities, or maintain such pension schemes, as may be so determined.

5 (1) The Commission may regulate its own procedure.
(2)    In determining its own procedure the Commission may, in particular, make provision about—
(a)    the discharge of its functions by committees (which may include persons who are not commissioners);
(b)    a quorum for meetings of the Commission or a committee.

6         The validity of any proceedings of the Commission is not affected by any vacancy among the commissioners or by a defect in the appointment of a commissioner.
7 (1) The application of the seal of the Commission is to be authenticated by the signature of—
(a)    any commissioner; or
(b)    some other person who has been authorised for that purpose by the Commission (whether generally or specifically).
(2)    Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply in relation to any document which is, or is to be, signed in accordance with the law of Scotland.
The Commission's powers

8         The Commission has power to do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the performance of its functions. Accounts

9 (1) The Commission must—
(a)    keep proper accounts;
(b)    prepare a statement of accounts in respect of each of its financial years; and
(c)    send copies of the statement to the Secretary of State and the Comptroller and Auditor General before the end of August following the financial year to which they relate.
(2)    The Comptroller and Auditor General must—
(a)    examine, certify and report on each statement of accounts received by him; and
(b)    lay copies of each statement before Parliament.
(3)    “Financial year” means the period of 12 months ending with 31st March.
Disqualification for membership of House of Commons

10        In Part II of Schedule 1 to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 24) (offices disqualifying for membership of the House of Commons), insert at the appropriate place—
“The Equality Commission appointed under section 38 of the Equality Act 2003”. Disqualification for membership of Northern Ireland Assembly

11        In Part II of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25) (disqualifying offices), insert at the appropriate place—
“The Equality Commission appointed under section 38 of the Equality Act 2003”. Status

12        In relation to any of its functions—
(a)    the Commission is not to be regarded as acting on behalf of the Crown; and
(b)    the commissioners, officers and staff are not to be regarded as Crown servants.


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Prepared 16 January 2003