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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Directions and guidance

123.Whilst the MMO is intended to operate free from Ministerial interference in its day to day affairs, Ministers may need to issue guidance or directions to the MMO. Such guidance or directions are likely to change over time in order to take account of any alterations to the functions of the MMO, or changing priorities in relation to the marine environment, and may be used to ensure that the MMO does not act in a way that is inconsistent with its functions or general objective.

Section 37: Directions by the Secretary of State

124.This section enables the Secretary of State, following consultation, to give general or specific directions to the MMO regarding the exercise of its functions. This includes directions in relation to international agreements to which the United Kingdom or European Union is a party, as several such agreements relate to the marine area and may be relevant to the way in which the MMO is to exercise its functions. The MMO must comply with these directions. The Secretary of State must publish notice of any directions given to the MMO. The MMO must make copies of any directions available to the public, for which it may charge a reasonable fee.

Section 38: Guidance by the Secretary of State

125.This section provides for the Secretary of State to issue guidance to the MMO regarding the exercise of its functions. The MMO must have regard to any guidance issued (including guidance on its general objective under section 2). Before issuing guidance, the Secretary of State must consult the MMO and any other body that the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

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