Select Committee on Merits of Statutory Instruments Twenty-Ninth Report


Other instruments of interest

LOCAL INVOLVEMENT NETWORKS (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2008 (SI 2008/1877)

20.  These Regulations amend the Local Involvement Network Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/528) to extend the deadline by which local authorities must make contractual arrangements for the involvement of people in the commissioning, provision and scrutiny of health services in their area. The transitional period was originally set as six months and has now been extended by a further three months to 31 December 2008. We asked the Department for more information on why they had underestimated the amount of time needed for the transition and whether there would be any consequences from the delay: the information is printed at Appendix 1.

HOUSING (RIGHT TO MANAGE) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2008 (SI 2008/2361)

21.  The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have laid these Regulations which deal with the procedures to enable tenant management organisations (TMOs) to enter into management agreements with local housing authorities to provide housing management services in the area identified in the agreement. In replacing Regulations made in 1994, SI 2008/2361 provides for a simpler system of balloting residents in the area of a proposed management agreement. Previously, a majority of the tenants had to agree to the transfer of the management services in order for the agreement to proceed. Under SI 2008/2361, a majority of those voting is sufficient to enable the agreement to proceed. DCLG have said that the main concerns voiced by respondents to the 2007 consultation on these proposals related to the possibility of a low turnout in the ballot, meaning tenant management would go ahead with the support of a minority of tenants. In response, the Department have explained that they want to bring these arrangements in line with other ballots (for example on stock transfer) and ensure consistency and fairness.

CRIMINAL DEFENCE SERVICE (RECOVERY OF DEFENCE COSTS ORDERS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2008 (SI 2008/2430)

22.  When a defendant is convicted in the Crown Court or above, the court may make a Recovery of Defence Costs Order (RDCO) to require him to repay some or all of the costs of publicly funded representation that he has received. Following a review of the system, this instrument makes a number of amendments to the present procedure. These include: clarification of when an RDCO cannot be made (for example if the defendant is under 18 or in receipt of certain benefits); and the capacity to require full recovery of costs where the defendant fails to provide accurate information about his financial circumstances. The amendments also broaden the assessment of the defendant's financial resources, to include those of the defendant's partner and any assets that the defendant may have deliberately deprived himself of so as to avoid having to pay the RDCO. Judges will now be obliged to give reasons for their decisions in respect of RDCOs, including those cases where no Orders are made.

INFANT FORMULA AND FOLLOW-ON FORMULA (ENGLAND) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2008 (SI 2008/2445)

23.  We drew the attention of the House to the original Regulations (SI 2007/3521) in our 7th report of this session, noting that a number of influential bodies were concerned about the way those Regulations interpreted the EC Directive. Following a High Court judgment, these Regulations amend the regime to comply more closely with Commission Directive 2006/141/EC, in particular, in relation to the implementation dates for the labelling and presentation and packaging of infant and follow-on formula. The provisions relating to the advertising and composition of infant formula remain as in the 2007 Regulations.

MOTOR VEHICLES (DRIVING LICENCES) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 5) REGULATIONS 2008 (SI 2008/2508)

24.  These Regulations defer by six months the implementation of EC Directives which introduce new and more demanding manoeuvres to the motorcycle driving test. Procuring an adequate number of sites on which to conduct these tests has proved more difficult than anticipated and with only just over half the level of required provision at 29 September, some motorcycling test candidates would have faced journeys of over 100 miles to take their practical riding test with consequential road safety concerns. The decision to defer implementation has been made in close consultation with the organisations which represent motorcyclists and the European Commission has been informed. While the Regulations do technically fail to implement EU legislation appropriately, we note that this is despite the Department's best endeavours, and we understand that they are working to achieve adequate coverage as soon as possible. Further details of how and why the situation arose are set out in Appendix 2.

CHILD SUPPORT (CONSEQUENTIAL PROVISIONS) REGULATIONS (SI 2008/2543)

CHILD SUPPORT (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (NO 2) REGULATIONS (SI 2008/2544)

CHILD SUPPORT INFORMATION REGULATIONS (SI 2008/2551)

25.  Following the passage of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008, the process for claiming child maintenance is being substantially reformed with the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission replacing the Child Support Agency. These Regulations remove the obligation for parents with care of children to make claims for maintenance through the Child Support Agency and the benefit sanctions which were applied to those who did not do so. This will allow for greater flexibility in arrangements between separated parents, although parents can ask the Commission to collect and enforce payments where voluntary payment arrangements are not working. The Regulations also extend the Commission's ability to use deductions of earnings orders as a more effective means of collection.



 
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