The Scottish Road Works Commissioner
Section 16 Creation, appointment, status and funding of Scottish Road Works Commissioner
51.Section 16 of the Act creates the office of a Scottish Road Works Commissioner (“the Commissioner”). The Commissioner will be appointed on terms and conditions determined by the Scottish Ministers. (4)The Commissioner is not a servant or agent of the Crown and has no status, immunity or privilege of the Crown. The Scottish Ministers can make grants to the Commissioner in respect of the Commissioner’s expenses.
Section 17 Functions of Commissioner
52.Section 17 of the Act specifies the functions of the Commissioner. (Schedule 2 enables the Commissioner to appoint staff and makes provision about the preparation and submission of accounts). The purpose and functions of the Commissioner are:
monitoring the carrying out of road works in Scotland by road works authorities and undertakers;
promoting compliance with the 1991 Act and the obligations imposed under it; and
promoting the pursuit of good practice by road works authorities and undertakers. “Good practice” means compliance with any code of practice issued under the 1991 Act; and, subject to that code, meeting any obligations set out in the 1991 Act and its associated codes of practice which the Commissioner thinks are required.
53.A definition for works in roads is provided at section (2) so as to include both road works and works for road purposes as defined in the 1991 Act. This ensures that works carried out in roads by both statutory undertakers and roads authorities will be caught within the Commissioner’s role in monitoring activity. The term “works in roads” covers all the activities that are required to be recorded on the Scottish Road Works Register, which will be the principal tool by which the Commissioner will monitor the carrying out of works on Scotland’s roads.
Section 18 Duty of road works authority and undertakers to provide Commissioner with information
54.Section 18 of the Act specifies the duties of road works authorities and undertakers to provide the Commissioner with information relevant to their responsibilities for road works. The Commissioner can require this information to be provided, providing the Commissioner needs it to fulfil the Commissioner’s functions. For road works authorities and undertakers, this means (2)information which the authority or undertaker has or can reasonably be expected to acquire – for example, details of training provision for staff involved in updating the Scottish Road Works Register. (b)In the case of the road works authority, it might include information relating to its local road network, the use of that network by different kinds of traffic, or the effects of that use.
55.Any dispute between a road works authority or undertaker and the Commissioner as to information asked for by the Commissioner is to be settled in a manner that will be prescribed by the Scottish Ministers in regulations. Where regulations prescribe that the matter is to be settled by arbitration subsection (4) states that arbitration will be conducted as described in the 1991 Act i.e. that the arbiter will be appointed by agreement by the parties or where agreement can not be reached by the sheriff.