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Scotland Act 1998

SECTION 108: Agreed redistribution of functions exercisable by the Scottish Ministers etc.
Purpose and Effect

This section enables Her Majesty, by Order in Council, subject to the agreement of both the Westminster and the Scottish Parliament, to provide for functions exercisable by a member of the Scottish Executive to be transferred to a Minister of the Crown.  It also enables such functions to be made exercisable concurrently with a Minister of the Crown or subject to special requirements

General

There are two main circumstances in which it is envisaged that an Order is likely to be made under this provision, namely where it is desired:

(a)

to re-transfer functions back to a Minister of the Crown which have been executively devolved to the Scottish Ministers by an order under section 63; and

(b)

to transfer functions of the Scottish Ministers to a Minister of the Crown as a consequence of an Order under section 30(2) adding a new reserved matter into Schedule 5.

The provision could also be used to enable UK Ministers to exercise certain functions on a UK-wide basis, for example, in relation to the collection of certain statistics.

Section 56 provided an alternative mechanism for UK Ministers to retain concurrent powers in devolved areas, but that mechanism cannot be used after the function in question has transferred to the Scottish Ministers.  Most of the functions under section 53 transferred on 1 July 1999.

Parliamentary Consideration
StageDateColumn
LC8-Oct-98631
LC8-Oct-98634
LR2-Nov-98112
Details of Provisions

Subsection (1) provides for Her Majesty, by Order in Council, to provide for the transfer of functions exercisable by a member of the Scottish Executive to a Minister of the Crown, or for such functions to be exercisable by a member of the Scottish Executive concurrently with, or with the agreement of, or after consultation with a Minister of the Crown.

Subsection (2) provides that where such an Order transfers to a Minister of the Crown a function which is exercisable only with the agreement of, or after consultation with, the Scottish Ministers, the First Minister or the Lord Advocate, that requirement is disapplied unless the Order provides otherwise. Requirements for consultation or agreement with other persons are not affected.

Subsection (3) provides that where an Order provides for a function to be transferred to a Minister of the Crown or to be exercisable by a Minister of the Crown concurrently with a member of the Scottish Executive, it may provide for it to be exercisable with the agreement of, or after consultation with, another person.

Subsection (4) provides that the section does not apply to those retained functions of the Lord Advocate which were exercisable by him immediately before he ceased to be a Minister of the Crown.  Retained functions are defined in section 52(6).

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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

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