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Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Gaelic language plans

3Gaelic language plans

(1)The Bòrd may give a notice in writing to any relevant public authority requiring the authority to prepare a Gaelic language plan.

(2)The notice must—

(a)state that the authority is required to prepare a Gaelic language plan in accordance with this section and submit it to the Bòrd,

(b)specify a date (being no earlier than 6 months after the date the notice was given) by which the authority must submit the plan to the Bòrd, and

(c)inform the authority of its rights under section 4 to request a review and to appeal to the Scottish Ministers.

(3)In deciding whether to give a notice under subsection (1) to an authority, the Bòrd must have regard to—

(a)the most recent national Gaelic language plan published under section 2 (if any),

(b)the extent to which—

(i)the Gaelic language is used by persons in relation to whom the functions of the authority are exercisable, and

(ii)in the Bòrd’s opinion, there is potential for the authority to develop the use of the Gaelic language in connection with the exercise of those functions,

(c)any representations made to it in relation to the use of the Gaelic language in connection with the exercise of those functions, and

(d)any guidance given by the Scottish Ministers.

(4)A Gaelic language plan must—

(a)set out the measures to be taken by the relevant public authority in relation to the use of the Gaelic language in connection with the exercise of the authority’s functions,

(b)specify the date by which the measures are to be taken, and

(c)contain such other information as may be prescribed in regulations made under subsection (7).

(5)A relevant public authority, in preparing a Gaelic language plan, must have regard to—

(a)the most recent national Gaelic language plan published under section 2,

(b)the extent to which the persons in relation to whom the authority’s functions are exercisable use the Gaelic language,

(c)the potential for developing the use of the Gaelic language in connection with the exercise of those functions,

(d)any representations made to the authority in relation to the use of the Gaelic language in connection with the exercise of those functions, and

(e)any guidance given by the Scottish Ministers or the Bòrd.

(6)In preparing a Gaelic language plan, a relevant public authority must consult persons appearing to it to have an interest.

(7)The Scottish Ministers may, after consulting the Bòrd, by regulations make further provision in relation to the content of Gaelic language plans.

(8)Those regulations may make different provision for different purposes or for different types of authority.

4Review of, and appeal against, notices

(1)Where a relevant public authority receives a notice under subsection (1) of section 3 and considers that the date specified in it by virtue of subsection (2)(b) of that section is unreasonable, it may within 28 days of receipt of the notice request the Bòrd to review the date.

(2)A request under subsection (1) must set out the authority’s reasons for its view.

(3)The Bòrd must within 28 days of receipt of the request review the date and—

(a)confirm the date, or

(b)substitute a later date (in which case that date is deemed to be the date specified in the notice by virtue of section 3(2)(b)).

(4)In intimating to the authority its decision under subsection (3) the Bòrd must, if the decision is to confirm the date, set out its reasons for the decision.

(5)If the authority is aggrieved by the Bòrd’s decision under subsection (3), it may, within 28 days of receiving intimation of the decision, appeal to the Scottish Ministers.

(6)The Scottish Ministers must determine an appeal under subsection (5) no later than 2 months after the date on which the appeal was made.

(7)If the Scottish Ministers uphold an appeal under subsection (5) they must specify another date by which the authority must submit a Gaelic language plan to the Bòrd.

(8)Where a relevant public authority receives a notice under subsection (1) of section 3 it may, within 28 days of such receipt, appeal to the Scottish Ministers against the notice on the grounds that, having regard to the matters specified in subsection (3)(a) to (d) of that section, the Bòrd’s decision to give the notice to the authority was unreasonable.

(9)The Scottish Ministers must determine an appeal under subsection (8) no later than 6 months after the date on which the appeal was made.

(10)If the Scottish Ministers uphold an appeal under subsection (8)—

(a)the notice ceases to have effect, and

(b)the Bòrd may not give a further notice under section 3(1) to the authority until the expiry of the period of 2 years beginning with the date on which the notice to which the appeal relates was given.

5Approval of plans

(1)Where a Gaelic language plan is submitted to the Bòrd by a relevant public authority pursuant to a notice under section 3(1) or under subsection (3)(b) of this section, the Bòrd must—

(a)approve the plan, or

(b)propose modifications to it.

(2)In considering the plan for the purposes of subsection (1), the Bòrd must have regard to—

(a)the matters referred to in section 3(5)(a) to (d), and

(b)any guidance given by the Scottish Ministers.

(3)If the Bòrd proposes modifications, the authority must—

(a)within one month of the date on which the proposed modifications are intimated to the authority, notify the Bòrd that it does not agree with all or any of the modifications, giving reasons for that disagreement, or

(b)by a date specified by the Bòrd, amend the plan to take account of the modifications and resubmit the plan to the Bòrd.

(4)The date referred to in subsection (3)(b) must be no less than 3 months and no more than 6 months after the date on which the proposed modifications are intimated to the authority.

(5)Where notification is given under paragraph (a) of subsection (3), the Bòrd, having considered the reasons referred to in that paragraph, must—

(a)approve the plan as originally submitted to the Bòrd,

(b)approve the plan subject to such modifications (including all or any of those proposed under subsection (1)(b)) as the Bòrd and the authority may agree, or

(c)if, on the expiry of the period of 2 months beginning with the date on which the authority gave notice to the Bòrd under subsection (3)(a), the Bòrd has not approved the plan under paragraph (a) or (b), refer the matter to the Scottish Ministers.

(6)On a reference to them under subsection (5)(c), the Scottish Ministers, after complying with subsection (7), must—

(a)approve the plan as originally submitted to the Bòrd, or

(b)approve the plan subject to such modifications (including all or any of those proposed under subsection (1)(b)) as they think fit.

(7)Before approving a plan under subsection (6), the Scottish Ministers—

(a)must have regard to the matters mentioned in section 3(5)(a) to (c),

(b)must give the Bòrd and the authority an opportunity to make representations about the plan, and

(c)may consult any other person whom they think fit,

and must take account of any representations made by the Bòrd or the authority and any views expressed by a person consulted under paragraph (c).

(8)Approval of a plan under subsection (6) must be given no later than 6 months after the date on which the matter was referred to the Scottish Ministers under subsection (5)(c).

(9)On the plan being approved by the Bòrd or the Scottish Ministers, the authority must—

(a)publish it in such manner as it thinks fit (having regard to any guidance given by the Bòrd), and

(b)implement the measures in accordance with the plan.

6Monitoring of implementation

(1)This section applies where—

(a)a relevant public authority’s Gaelic language plan has been approved by the Bòrd or the Scottish Ministers under section 5, and

(b)at least 12 months have elapsed since the date of approval.

(2)The Bòrd may require the authority to submit to it, by a date no earlier than 3 months after the date of the requirement, a report on the extent to which the authority has implemented the measures set out in the plan.

(3)The Bòrd may not make a second or subsequent requirement under subsection (2) within 12 months of the date of the previous requirement.

(4)Where the Bòrd considers that a relevant public authority is failing to implement adequately measures in its Gaelic language plan, it may submit to the Scottish Ministers a report setting out its reasons for that conclusion.

(5)On receipt of the report, the Scottish Ministers may take either or both of the following steps—

(a)they may lay a copy of the report before the Scottish Parliament,

(b)they may direct the authority in question to implement any or all of the measures in its Gaelic language plan by the date specified in the direction.

(6)Before giving a direction under subsection (5)(b), the Scottish Ministers must—

(a)consult the authority about the terms of the proposed direction, and

(b)take account of any representations made by the authority.

7Review of plans

(1)This section applies where a Gaelic language plan has been approved by the Bòrd or the Scottish Ministers under section 5 (including that section as applied by subsection (3) of this section).

(2)Where this section applies, the relevant public authority which prepared the plan must, no later than 5 years after the date of approval of the plan—

(a)review the plan,

(b)make such amendments (if any) to the plan as the authority considers necessary or expedient, and

(c)submit it to the Bòrd.

(3)Sections 3(4) to (6) and 5 apply in relation to the review and amendment of a plan under subsection (2) of this section as they apply in relation to the preparation of a plan pursuant to a notice under section 3(1).

(4)A relevant public authority may, without undertaking a review, at any time amend a Gaelic language plan published under section 5(9) (for example, by correcting an error or by updating factual information which has changed) in a way that does not alter the plan substantially.

8Guidance, assistance, etc. by the Bòrd

(1)The Bòrd must, from time to time when it thinks fit, prepare and submit to the Scottish Ministers guidance for relevant public authorities in relation to the operation of sections 3 to 7.

(2)In preparing the guidance, the Bòrd must—

(a)publish a draft of the guidance,

(b)publicise the opportunity to make representations about the draft guidance under subsection (3) within such period of not less than 3 months as the Bòrd may specify, and

(c)take into account any representations received by it within that period.

(3)Any person who wishes to make representations to the Bòrd about the draft guidance may do so within the period specified in pursuance of subsection (2).

(4)The Scottish Ministers must—

(a)approve the guidance with or without modifications, or

(b)reject the guidance and, where they do so, may require the Bòrd to prepare and submit to them, within such period as they may specify, revised guidance.

(5)Where revised guidance is submitted, the Scottish Ministers must—

(a)approve the guidance, or

(b)order the Bòrd to publish it in such terms as the Scottish Ministers think fit.

(6)On such guidance being approved or, as the case may be, ordered to be published by the Scottish Ministers, the Bòrd must publish it in such manner as it thinks fit.

(7)The Bòrd may vary or revoke guidance published under subsection (6), and subsections (2) to (6) apply to a variation.

(8)Before revoking guidance published under subsection (6), the Bòrd must obtain the consent of the Scottish Ministers.

(9)The Bòrd must, on the request of a relevant public authority, provide the authority free of charge with advice and assistance in relation to the application of this Act to the authority.

(10)In preparing guidance under subsection (1) and giving advice and assistance under subsection (9), the Bòrd must seek to give effect, so far as is both appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably practicable, to the principle that the Gaelic and English languages should be accorded equal respect.

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