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Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) Act 1999

Section 23: further transfers

226.Normally transfers of functions between Government Departments are effected by an Order in Council made under powers in the MoCA, rather than by primary legislation. Experience of these operational and policy transfers may suggest that further adjustments of the DSS/ Inland Revenue boundary are sensible. Section 23 provides a mechanism for making these adjustments in a similar manner to Orders made under the MoCA, rather than by returning to Parliament with another Bill.

227.Subsection (1) creates the power to transfer functions by Order in Council. The transfer can be from the Secretary of State to the Inland Revenue or vice versa. No power is provided to transfer responsibilities between the Secretary of State and the Treasury since this can already be achieved by an Order under MoCA. Subsection (2) sets the limits on the scope of such Orders to ensure that section 23 does not provide a general power to transfer functions between the Inland Revenue, the Treasury and the DSS. These Orders can transfer functions which relate to contributions and the NIF (other than those relating to collection function under section 1(1) CBA, or control and management of the NIF as set out in section 161 SSAA 1992), SSP, SMP and contracting-out. Under subsection (1)(d)(i) these Orders can transfer decision-making responsibilities relating to the transferred functions. Under subsection (1)(d)(ii) these Orders can transfer the mechanism for deciding on these issues between the provisions of Part II of this Act - which allows for decisions to be made by the tax appeal Commissioners - and Chapter II of Part I of the SSA - which allows for decisions by the unified appeal tribunals.

228.Subsection (3) sets out which decisions may be affected by an Order.

229.Subsection (4) allows for consequential or transitional measures in an Order, including on contractual and other legal issues.

230.Subsection (5) provides for a “certificate of transferred property” procedure as in section 21(3).

231.Subsection (6) interprets how the power applies in respect of the equivalent Northern Ireland legislation.

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