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Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Section 1.

SCHEDULE 1Constitution and proceedings of Scottish Natural Heritage

Incorporation and status

1SNH shall be a body corporate and shall have a common seal.

2(1)SNH shall not—

(a)be regarded as a servant or agent of the Crown;

(b)have any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown;

(c)be exempt from any tax, duty, rate, levy or other charge whatsoever whether general or local,

and its property shall not be regarded as property of, or held on behalf of, the Crown.

(2)Sub-paragraph (1) above shall have effect subject to paragraph 19 below.

Membership

3The members of SNH shall be not less than eight, nor more than twelve, persons appointed by the Secretary of State.

4In making appointments under paragraph 3 above, the Secretary of State shall have regard to the desirability of ensuring that the membership of SNH contains at any time, so far as is practicable, persons of knowledge or experience relevant to the principal areas of activity of SNH.

5The Secretary of State shall satisfy himself—

(a)before he appoints a person to be a member that the person will have no such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially the performance of his functions as a member: and

(b)from time to time that each person so appointed continues, and has continued, to have no such interest.

6A person in respect of whom the Secretary of State requires to be satisfied as is mentioned in paragraph 5 above shall, whenever requested by the Secretary of State to do so, furnish the Secretary of State with such information as the Secretary of State may consider necessary for the purposes of fulfilling that requirement.

7Subject to this paragraph and paragraphs 9 and 10 below, each member of SNH—

(a)shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of his appointment;

(b)may, by notice in writing to the Secretary of State, resign his membership; and

(c)after ceasing to hold office shall be eligible for reappointment as a member.

8The Secretary of State may, by order made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament, amend paragraph 3 above so as to substitute for the numbers for the time being specified as, respectively, the minimum and maximum membership of SNH such other numbers as he thinks fit.

9The Secretary of State may remove a member from office if he is satisfied that the member—

(a)has been adjudged bankrupt, has made an arrangement with his creditors, has had his estate sequestrated or has granted a trust deed for his creditors or a composition contract;

(b)is incapacitated by physical or mental illness;

(c)has been absent from meetings of SNH for a period longer than three months without the permission of SNH; or

(d)is otherwise unable or unfit to discharge his functions as a member or is unsuitable to continue as a member.

Chairman and Deputy Chairman

10(1)The Secretary of State shall appoint one of the members of SNH to be chairman and, after consulting the chairman, shall appoint one of the members to be deputy chairman.

(2)The chairman and deputy chairman shall hold and vacate office in terms of their appointment.

(3)A member of SNH who is chairman or deputy chairman may resign his office by notice in writing to the Secretary of State; but if the chairman or deputy chairman ceases to be a member of SNH (whether or not on giving notice under paragraph 7(b) above) he shall cease to be its chairman or, as the case may be, deputy chairman.

Remuneration and allowances

11(1)SNH shall—

(a)pay to its members such remuneration and allowances (if any); and

(b)as regards any member or former member in whose case the Secretary of State may so determine, pay such pension, allowance or gratuity to or in respect of him, or make such payments towards the provision of such pension, allowance or gratuity,

as the Secretary of State may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

(2)If a person ceases to be a member of SNH, and it appears to the Secretary of State that there are special circumstances which make it right that he should receive compensation, the Secretary of State may require SNH to pay to that person a sum of such amount as the Secretary of State may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

Staff

12(1)There shall be a chief officer of SNH.

(2)The Secretary of State shall, after consultation with the chairman or person designated to be chairman (if there is a person holding or designated to hold that office), make the first appointment of the chief officer of SNH on such terms and conditions as he may, with the consent of the Treasury, determine; and thereafter SNH may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, make subsequent appointments to that office on such terms and conditions as it may, with the approval of the Secretary of State given with the consent of the Treasury, determine.

13Subject to paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 to this Act, SNH may appoint on such terms and conditions as it may, with the approval of the Secretary of State given with the consent of the Treasury, determine such other employees as it thinks fit.

14(1)SNH shall, in the case of such of its employees or former employees as it may, with the approval of the Secretary of State given with the consent of the Treasury, determine—

(a)pay such pensions, allowances or gratuities to or in respect of those employees;

(b)make such payments towards provision of such pensions, allowances or gratuities; or

(c)provide and maintain such schemes (whether contributory or not) for the payment of such pensions allowances or gratuities,

as it may, with the approval of the Secretary of State given with the consent of the Treasury, determine.

(2)The reference in sub-paragraph (1) above to pensions, allowances or gratuities in respect of employees of SNH includes a reference to pensions, allowances or gratuities by way of compensation to or in respect of any such employee who suffers loss of office or employment.

(3)If an employee of SNH becomes a member of SNH and was by reference to his employment by SNH a participant in a pension scheme established and administered by it for the benefit of its employees—

(a)SNH may determine that his service as a member shall be treated for the purposes of the scheme as service as an employee of SNH whether or not any benefits are to be payable to or in respect of him by virtue of paragraph 11 above; but

(b)if SNH determines as aforesaid, any discretion as to the benefits payable to or in respect of him which the scheme confers on SNH shall be exercised only with the consent of the Secretary of State given with the approval of the Treasury.

Proceedings

15(1)SNH may regulate its own procedure (including making provision in relation to the quorum for its meetings and the meetings of any committee appointed by it).

(2)The proceedings of SNH and of any committee appointed by it shall not be invalidated by any vacancy amongst its members or the members of such committee or by any defect in the appointment of such member.

Committees

16(1)SNH may appoint persons who are not members of it to be members of any committee established by it:

Provided that no such committee shall consist entirely of persons who are not members of SNH.

(2)SNH shall pay to a person so appointed such remuneration and allowances (if any) as the Secretary of State may, with the consent of the Treasury, determine.

(3)SNH may regulate the procedure of any committee established by it and any such committee shall comply with any directions given to them by it.

Delegation of powers

17(1)Anything authorised or required by or under any enactment to be done by SNH may be done by any of its committees which, or by any of its members or employees who, is authorised (generally or specifically) for the purpose by SNH.

(2)Nothing in sub-paragraph (1) above shall prevent SNH from doing anything that a committee, member or employee has been authorised to do.

Documents

18(1)For any purpose other than those mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) below, a document is validly executed by SNH if it is signed on its behalf by a member or by the chief officer or by a person authorised to sign the document on its behalf.

(2)For the purposes of any enactment or rule of law relating to the authentication of documents, a document is validly executed by SNH if it is subscribed on its behalf by being executed in accordance with the provisions of sub-paragraph (1) above.

(3)A document which bears to have been executed by SNH in accordance with sub-paragraph (2) above shall, in relation to such execution, be a probative document if—

(a)the subscription of the document bears to have been attested by at least one witness; or

(b)the document bears to be sealed with the seal of SNH.

Land

19(1)For the purposes of the application of any enactment or rule of law to land an interest in which belongs to SNH, and which is managed as a nature reserve, SNH shall be deemed to be a Government department; and any other land occupied by it shall be deemed, for the purpose of any rate on property, to be property occupied by or on behalf of the Crown for public purposes.

(2)In sub-paragraph (1) above “interest” and “land” have the meanings assigned to them by section 114 of the National Parks and Access to the [1949 c. 97.] Countryside Act 1949.

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