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Part 3Child maintenance

51Disqualification for holding etc. driving licence or travel authorisation

(1)The Child Support Act 1991 (c. 48) is amended as follows.

(2)In section 39B (disqualification for holding or obtaining travel authorisation)—

(a)in subsection (1), for “The Commission may apply to the court for an order under this section” substitute “The Commission may make an order under this section (referred to in this section and sections 39C to 39F as a “disqualification order”)”, and

(b)for subsections (3) to (13) substitute—

(3)A disqualification order shall provide that the person against whom it is made is disqualified for holding or obtaining—

(a)a driving licence,

(b)a travel authorisation, or

(c)both a driving licence and a travel authorisation,

while the order has effect.

(4)Before making a disqualification order against a person, the Commission shall consider whether the person needs the relevant document in order to earn a living.

(5)A disqualification order shall specify the amount in respect of which it is made.

(6)That amount shall be the aggregate of—

(a)the amount sought to be recovered as mentioned in subsection (1)(a), or so much of it as remains unpaid; and

(b)the amount which the person against whom the order is made is required to pay by the order under section 39DA(1).

(7)The Commission shall serve a copy of the disqualification order (together with a copy of the order under section 39DA(1)) on the person against whom it is made.

(8)In this section—

(3)In section 39C (period for which orders under section 39B are to have effect), for subsection (1) substitute—

(1)A disqualification order shall specify the period for which it is to have effect.

(1A)That period shall not exceed 12 months (subject to any extension under section 39CA or 39CB).

(1B)That period shall begin to run with—

(a)the first day after the end of the period within which an appeal may be brought against the order under section 39CB(1); or

(b)if the running of the period is suspended at that time, the first day when its running is no longer suspended.

(4)After that section insert—

39CASurrender of relevant documents

(1)A person against whom a disqualification order is made who holds any relevant document shall surrender it in the prescribed manner to the prescribed person within the required period.

(2)For this purpose “the required period” means the period of 7 days beginning with the start of the period for which the order has effect or has effect again following a period of suspension.

(3)But, if immediately before the end of the required period the person has a good reason for not surrendering any relevant document, the person shall instead surrender it as soon as practicable after the end of that period.

(4)The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision prescribing circumstances in which a person is, or is not, to be regarded for the purposes of subsection (3) as having a good reason for not surrendering any relevant document.

(5)The requirements imposed by subsections (1) and (3) cease to have effect if the period for which the disqualification order has effect is suspended or ends.

(6)A person who fails to comply with a requirement imposed by subsection (1) or (3) commits an offence.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (6) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(8)On sentencing a person for an offence under that subsection the court may by order extend the period for which the disqualification order is to have effect by such period as may be specified in the order under this subsection.

(9)But the power conferred by subsection (8) may not be exercised so as to provide for the disqualification order to have effect for a period exceeding 2 years in total.

(10)In this section “relevant document” has the same meaning as in section 39.

(11)Where this section applies in relation to a driving licence at any time before the commencement of Schedule 3 to the Road Safety Act 2006, any reference in this section to any relevant document includes the licence’s counterpart (within the meaning of section 108(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988).

39CBAppeals against disqualification orders

(1)A person against whom a disqualification order is made may appeal to the court against the order within a prescribed period (which must begin with the first day on which that person had actual notice of the order).

(2)Where an appeal is brought under subsection (1), the running of the period for which the order has effect shall be suspended until the time at which the appeal is determined, withdrawn or discontinued.

(3)If—

(a)the person against whom a disqualification order is made does not bring an appeal within the period specified in subsection (1), and

(b)prescribed conditions are satisfied,

the court may grant leave for an appeal to be brought after the end of that period.

(4)On granting leave under subsection (3) the court may suspend the running of the period for which the order has effect until such time and on such conditions (if any) as it thinks just.

(5)On an appeal under this section the court—

(a)shall reconsider the exercise by the Commission of its powers under section 39B; and

(b)may by order affirm, vary or revoke the disqualification order.

(6)On an appeal under this section the court shall not question—

(a)the liability order by reference to which the Commission acted as mentioned in section 39B(1)(a);

(b)any liability order made against the same person after the disqualification order was made; or

(c)the maintenance calculation by reference to which any liability order within paragraph (a) or (b) was made.

(7)The power under subsection (5) to vary a disqualification order includes power to extend the period for which it has effect; but that power may not be exercised so as to provide for it to have effect for a period exceeding 2 years in total.

(8)If, on appeal under this section, the court affirms or varies a disqualification order, the court shall substitute for the amount specified under section 39B(5) the aggregate of—

(a)the amount sought to be recovered as mentioned in section 39B(1)(a), or so much of it as remains unpaid;

(b)the amount which the person against whom the order was made is required to pay by the order under section 39DA(1), so far as remaining unpaid;

(c)the amount which that person is required to pay by the order under section 39DA(2); and

(d)if a liability order has been made against that person since the disqualification order was made, the amount in respect of which the liability order was made, so far as remaining unpaid.

(9)On the affirmation or variation of the disqualification order by the court, any existing suspension of the running of the period for which the order is to have effect shall cease.

(10)But the court may suspend the running of that period until such time and on such conditions (if any) as it thinks fit if—

(a)the person against whom the disqualification order was made agrees to pay the amount specified in the order; or

(b)the court is of the opinion that the suspension in question is justified by exceptional circumstances.

(11)If, on an appeal under this section, the court revokes a disqualification order, the court shall also revoke the order made under section 39DA(1).

(12)But subsection (11) does not apply if the court is of the opinion that, having regard to all the circumstances, it is reasonable to require the person against whom the disqualification order was made to pay the costs mentioned in section 39DA(1).

(13)In this section “the court” means—

(a)in relation to England and Wales, a magistrates’ court;

(b)in relation to Scotland, the sheriff.

(5)After section 39D insert—

39DARecovery of Commission’s costs

(1)On making a disqualification order against any person the Commission shall also make an order requiring that person to pay an amount in respect of the costs incurred by the Commission in exercising its functions under section 39B.

(2)If on an appeal under section 39CB the court affirms or varies a disqualification order made against any person, the court shall also make an order requiring that person to pay an amount in respect of the costs incurred by the Commission in connection with the appeal (“the Commission’s appeal costs”).

(3)If—

(a)on an appeal under that section the court revokes a disqualification order made against any person, and

(b)the court is satisfied that, having regard to all the circumstances, it is reasonable to require that person to pay an amount in respect of the Commission’s appeal costs,

the court shall also make an order requiring that person to pay an amount in respect of those costs.

(4)Any amount payable by virtue of an order made under this section shall be—

(a)specified in the order; and

(b)determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(5)The provisions of this Act with respect to—

(a)the collection of child support maintenance, and

(b)the enforcement of an obligation to pay child support maintenance,

apply equally (with any necessary modifications) to amounts which a person is required to pay under this section.

(6)Schedule 5 contains consequential amendments and other amendments related to the provision made by this section.

52Report on operation of driving licence amendments

(1)The Secretary of State must prepare a report on the operation during the review period of the amendments of the 1991 Act made by section 51 and Schedule 5 so far as those amendments relate to the disqualification of any person for holding or obtaining a driving licence.

(2)“The review period” is the period of 24 months beginning with the day on which section 51 and Schedule 5 come into force in relation to the disqualification of any person for holding or obtaining a driving licence.

(3)The Secretary of State must—

(a)prepare the report, and

(b)lay it before Parliament,

within 6 months from the end of the review period.

(4)The continued effect of the driving licence amendments depends on whether the Secretary of State makes an order under this subsection within the relevant period providing for those provisions to continue to have effect.

(5)“The relevant period” means the period of 30 days beginning with the day on which the report is laid before Parliament; and, in reckoning this period, no account is to be taken of any time during which Parliament—

(a)is dissolved or prorogued, or

(b)is adjourned for more than 4 days.

(6)If no order is made as mentioned in subsection (4), the Secretary of State must instead make an order under this subsection containing such amendments of the 1991 Act as the Secretary of State considers necessary to secure that the effect of the driving licence amendments is reversed.

(7)The effect of the driving licence amendments is to be regarded as reversed if the 1991 Act is amended so that it has the same effect in relation to the disqualification of any person for holding or obtaining a driving licence as it would have had if this Act had not been passed.

(8)An order under subsection (6) may contain consequential provision and transitional provision or savings.

(9)The consequential provision that may be made by an order under subsection (6) includes, in particular, provision amending, repealing or revoking—

(a)any provision of any Act passed before the making of the order, or

(b)any provision of any instrument made under any Act before the making of the order.

(10)Any power to make an order under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(11)An order under subsection (4) may not be made unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(12)A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (6) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(13)In this section—

53Report on operation of travel authorisation amendments

(1)The Secretary of State must prepare a report on the operation during the review period of the amendments of the 1991 Act made by section 51 and Schedule 5 so far as those amendments relate to the disqualification of any person for holding or obtaining a travel authorisation.

(2)“The review period” is the period of 24 months beginning with the day on which section 51 and Schedule 5 come into force in relation to the disqualification of any person for holding or obtaining a travel authorisation.

(3)The Secretary of State must—

(a)prepare the report, and

(b)lay it before Parliament,

within 6 months from the end of the review period.

(4)The continued effect of the travel authorisation amendments depends on whether the Secretary of State makes an order under this subsection within the relevant period providing for those amendments to continue to have effect.

(5)“The relevant period” means the period of 30 days beginning with the day on which the report is laid before Parliament; and, in reckoning this period, no account is to be taken of any time during which Parliament—

(a)is dissolved or prorogued, or

(b)is adjourned for more than 4 days.

(6)If no order is made as mentioned in subsection (4), the Secretary of State must instead make an order under this subsection containing such amendments of the 1991 Act as the Secretary of State considers necessary to secure that the effect of the travel authorisation amendments is reversed.

(7)The effect of the travel authorisation amendments is to be regarded as reversed if the 1991 Act is amended so that it has the same effect in relation to the disqualification of any person for holding or obtaining a travel authorisation as it would have had if this Act had not been passed.

(8)An order under subsection (6) may contain consequential provision and transitional provision or savings.

(9)The consequential provision that may be made by an order under subsection (6) includes, in particular, provision amending, repealing or revoking—

(a)any provision of any Act passed before the making of the order, or

(b)any provision of any instrument made under any Act before the making of the order.

(10)Any power to make an order under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(11)An order under subsection (4) may not be made unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(12)A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (6) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(13)In this section—

54Payments of child support maintenance

(1)Section 29 of the Child Support Act 1991 (collection of child support maintenance) is amended as follows.

(2)In subsection (3) (provision which may be made by regulations for payment of child support maintenance), for paragraph (c) substitute—

(c)for determining, on the basis of prescribed assumptions, the total amount of the payments of child support maintenance payable in a reference period (including provision for adjustments to such an amount);

(ca)requiring payments of child support maintenance to be made—

(i)by reference to such an amount and a reference period; and

(ii)at prescribed intervals falling in a reference period;.

(3)After that subsection insert—

(3A)In subsection (3)(c) and (ca) “a reference period” means—

(a)a period of 52 weeks beginning with a prescribed date; or

(b)in prescribed circumstances, a prescribed period.

55Child support maintenance: offences relating to information

(1)Section 14A of the Child Support Act 1991 (offences relating to information) is amended as follows.

(2)For subsection (3A) substitute—

(3A)In the case of regulations under section 14 which require a person liable to make payments of child support maintenance to notify—

(a)a change of address, or

(b)any other change of circumstances,

a person who fails to comply with the requirement is guilty of an offence.

(3)After subsection (5) insert—

(6)In England and Wales, an information relating to an offence under subsection (2) may be tried by a magistrates’ court if it is laid within the period of 12 months beginning with the commission of the offence.

(7)In Scotland, summary proceedings for an offence under subsection (2) may be commenced within the period of 12 months beginning with the commission of the offence.

(8)Section 136(3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (c. 46) (date when proceedings deemed to be commenced) applies for the purposes of subsection (7) as it applies for the purposes of that section.