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Welfare Reform Act 2009

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32Contracting out functions under Jobseekers Act 1995E+W+S

This sectionnoteType=Explanatory Notes has no associated

(1)The Jobseekers Act 1995 is amended as follows.

(2)Before section 21 (but after the italic heading immediately before that section) insert—

20EContracting out

(1)The following functions of the Secretary of State may be exercised by, or by employees of, such person (if any) as the Secretary of State may authorise for the purpose, namely—

(a)conducting interviews under section 11A;

(b)providing documents under section 11C;

(c)giving, varying or revoking directions under section 18B(5);

(d)asking questions under paragraph 1 of Schedule A1;

(e)making decisions under paragraph 2 or 3 of that Schedule;

(f)exercising any functions in relation to rehabilitation plans under paragraph 5 or 6 of that Schedule.

(2)The following functions of officers of the Secretary of State may be exercised by, or by employees of, such person (if any) as the Secretary of State may authorise for the purpose, namely—

(a)specifying places and times, and being contacted, under section 8;

(b)entering into or varying any jobseeker's agreement under section 9 or 10 and referring any proposed agreement or variation to the Secretary of State under section 9 or 10;

(c)giving notifications under section 16 or 18A;

(d)giving, varying or revoking directions under section 18A.

(3)Regulations may provide for any of the following functions of the Secretary of State to be exercisable by, or by employees of, such person (if any) as the Secretary of State may authorise for the purpose—

(a)any function under regulations under section 8, 11A, 11C, 17A or 18B or Schedule A1, except the making of an excluded decision (see subsection (4));

(b)the function under section 9(1) of the 1998 Act (revision of decisions) so far as relating to decisions (other than excluded decisions) that relate to any matter arising under any such regulations;

(c)the function under section 10(1) of the 1998 Act (superseding of decisions) so far as relating to decisions (other than excluded decisions) of the Secretary of State that relate to any matter arising under any such regulations;

(d)any function under Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the 1998 Act (social security decisions), except section 25(2) and (3) (decisions involving issues arising on appeal in other cases), which relates to the exercise of any of the functions within paragraphs (a) to (c).

(4)Each of the following is an “excluded decision” for the purposes of subsection (3)—

(a)a decision about whether a person has failed to comply with a requirement imposed by regulations under section 8, 11A or 17A or Schedule A1;

(b)a decision about whether a person had good cause for failure to comply with such a requirement;

(c)a decision about not paying or reducing a jobseeker's allowance in consequence of a failure to comply with such a requirement.

(5)Regulations under subsection (3) may provide that a function to which that subsection applies may be exercised—

(a)either wholly or to such extent as the regulations may provide,

(b)either generally or in such cases as the regulations may provide, and

(c)either unconditionally or subject to the fulfilment of such conditions as the regulations may provide.

(6)An authorisation given by virtue of any provision made by or under this section may authorise the exercise of the function concerned—

(a)either wholly or to such extent as may be specified in the authorisation,

(b)either generally or in such cases as may be so specified, and

(c)either unconditionally or subject to the fulfilment of such conditions as may be so specified;

but, in the case of an authorisation given by virtue of regulations under subsection (3), this subsection is subject to the regulations.

(7)An authorisation given by virtue of any provision made by or under this section—

(a)may specify its duration,

(b)may be revoked at any time by the Secretary of State, and

(c)does not prevent the Secretary of State or any other person from exercising the function to which the authorisation relates.

(8)Anything done or omitted to be done by or in relation to an authorised person (or an employee of that person) in, or in connection with, the exercise or purported exercise of the function concerned is to be treated for all purposes as done or omitted to be done by or in relation to the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) an officer of the Secretary of State.

(9)But subsection (8) does not apply—

(a)for the purposes of so much of any contract made between the authorised person and the Secretary of State as relates to the exercise of the function, or

(b)for the purposes of any criminal proceedings brought in respect of anything done by the authorised person (or an employee of that person).

(10)Any decision which an authorised person makes in exercise of a function of the Secretary of State has effect as a decision of the Secretary of State under section 8 of the 1998 Act.

(11)Where—

(a)the authorisation of an authorised person is revoked at any time, and

(b)at the time of the revocation so much of any contract made between the authorised person and the Secretary of State as relates to the exercise of the function is subsisting,

the authorised person is entitled to treat the contract as repudiated by the Secretary of State (and not as frustrated by reason of the revocation).

(12)In this section—

(a)the 1998 Act” means the Social Security Act 1998;

(b)authorised person” means a person authorised to exercise any function by virtue of any provision made by or under this section;

(c)references to functions of the Secretary of State under any enactment (including one comprised in regulations) include functions which the Secretary of State has by virtue of the application of section 8(1)(c) of the 1998 Act in relation to the enactment.

(3)In each of the following provisions for “employment officer” substitute “ officer of the Secretary of State ”

(a)section 8(1)(a),

(b)section 9(1), (5), (6) and (7)(b),

(c)section 10(1), (4), (5) and (6)(b)(ii),

(d)section 16(3)(b)(ii),

(e)section 19(5)(b)(ii), (6)(c) and (10)(b) (as the section has effect before its substitution by paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to this Act), and

(f)section 20A(2)(b)(ii) and (f) (as the section has effect before its substitution by paragraph 7 of that Schedule).

(4)In section 8(1A)(a), for “the Secretary of State” substitute “ an officer of the Secretary of State ”.

(5)In relation to any time before paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to this Act is fully in force, section 20E(2)(c) and (d) of the Jobseekers Act 1995 (c. 18) have effect as if they included references to the giving of notifications or directions under section 19 or 20A of that Act.

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