Select Committee on Merits of Statutory Instruments Thirty-Fourth Report

instruments of interest


1.  The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) have laid these draft Regulations, which prescribe the criteria which determine whether a person should be included automatically in the children's barred list or the adults' barred list maintained by the Independent Barring Board under section 2 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. The Regulations carry forward the policy intentions which the Department for Children, Schools and Families have expressed in the context of earlier statutory instruments, including the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (Transitory Provisions) Order 2008. When this House considered the latter Order on 6 November 2008, concern was expressed that the Government referred at times to the Independent Barring Board (IBB), and at times to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA); both titles refer to the same body. We note that the explanatory material provided to Parliament with these Regulations perpetuates this alternation between titles. We share the concern that this inconsistent approach by the Government may well confuse those involved with barring procedures.


2.  The purpose of the instrument is to increase the amount of the statutory legacy, which has not been changed since 1993. The statutory legacy is the fixed net sum payable, as an initial default sum, to a surviving spouse or civil partner from the estate of a person who has died without leaving a valid will. The responses to the consultation paper caused the provisional proposal to be re-examined, and revised to £250,000 to the spouse where there are also children, and £450,000 where the deceased leaves a spouse and parents or siblings but no children. The increase will apply in relation to the estate of a person dying on or after 1 February 2009. The Law Commission has agreed to carry out a review of the intestacy rules as part of its Tenth Programme of Law Reform, and expects to report in 2011. We once again commend the Ministry of Justice for making good use of the information derived from consultation.

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