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Regulatory Reform Act 2001

Section 8: Parliamentary consideration of proposals

102.This section mirrors section 4 of the 1994 Act. Subsections (1) and (2) provide that Parliament shall have 60 days to consider any proposal laid in the form of a draft order. Only after the 60 days have passed may the Minister proceed to lay a draft order. As set out in Parliamentary Standing Orders, this 60 days is the time during which the two Scrutiny Committees scrutinise the proposed order and produce their reports.

103.Subsection (3) excludes from the calculation of the 60 day period any time when Parliament is not sitting for more than four days. The effect is to extend the period for Parliamentary scrutiny so that it does not pass while Parliament is not sitting and cannot therefore consider the proposal. Consideration of proposed orders will be carried over automatically from one Session to the next, and from one Parliament to the next.

104.Subsections (4) and (5) are concerned with the next stage in the procedure, when the Minister lays the draft order proper. Subsection (4) requires him to take account of any representations made during the 60 day period and in particular the reports from the Scrutiny Committees. Subsection (5) requires him to lay a statement alongside the draft order, giving details of any such representations, resolutions or reports, and to highlight any changes he has made to the proposed order as a result.

105.Subsection (6) makes clear that the provision in section 7 for representations made in confidence or containing damaging information applies to any representations made during the 60 days as well as to those made during the preliminary consultation stage. The exception is the provision for the scrutiny Committees to request access to particular representations, which only applies at the earlier stage.

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