Sixteenth Report Contents
Appendix 1: Correspondence: Reforming the Framework for Better Regulation
Letter from Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Chair of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, to Christopher Carr, Director of the Better Regulation Executive
I am writing as Chair of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC). The role of the SLSC is to scrutinise all statutory instruments laid before Parliament which are subject to a parliamentary procedure.
The Committee has only just learned of your consultation exercise on Reforming the Framework for Better Regulation from correspondence with the Minister Paul Scully MP. I understand that we have missed the formal consultation period. I hope however that there is still time for the Committee to offer three broad observations:
- 1. If it is to assist effective parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation, it is essential that an Impact Assessment (IA) should be made available at the same time that an instrument is laid. Where departments deposit an IA after laying, not only does this inhibit effective scrutiny but it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that information on impact was not used in the formulation of policy as it should be, but was treated as an after-thought.
- 2. Whether as part of an IA (when required) or included in the Explanatory Memorandum, it would assist parliamentary scrutiny if instruments were accompanied by a broad overview of potential impacts. This should include not only financial bottom line but also a thorough analysis of all potential consequences of the legislative change proposed, thereby enabling Parliament to weigh up the pros and cons of the policy change being effected.
- 3. Finally, we would welcome greater emphasis on post-implementation review. It would enhance transparency and accountability, if, when considering amendments to existing legislation, information was provided about the success or otherwise of the policy implemented by the original regulations.
18 October 2021