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(1)In section 335 of AFA 2006 (service complaints: role of Defence Council and service complaint panels)—
(a)in subsection (1), after “may,” insert “ in the case of a service complaint and ”;
(b)in subsection (2), for “The delegation under subsection (1) of a function” substitute “ A decision by the Defence Council to delegate under subsection (1) ”;
(c)for subsection (3) substitute—
“(3)The Defence Council—
(a)must determine the size of a service complaint panel (subject to section 336(2) and any provision made by virtue of section 336(6) relating to the size of a panel); and
(b)must appoint the members of a service complaint panel, other than any members appointed by the Secretary of State by virtue of section 336 or 336A.”; and
(d)in subsection (4)(b), for “function of appointing members of service complaint panels” substitute “ functions ”.
(2)Section 336 of AFA 2006 (composition and procedure of service complaint panels) is amended as follows.
(3)In subsection (1), for the words from “regulations” to the end substitute “ determination under this section, or regulations under this section or section 336A, relating to independent members. ”
(4)Omit subsection (3).
(5)After subsection (4) insert—
“(4A)The Defence Council may determine—
(a)that a service complaint panel is to include a specified number of independent members;
(b)that specified functions are to be exercised by independent members of a service complaint panel.
(4B)A determination under subsection (4A) may relate to—
(a)a particular service complaint; or
(b)any service complaint of a description determined by the Defence Council.
(4C)The Defence Council may, to such extent and subject to such conditions as they consider appropriate, delegate to a person employed in the civil service of the State or an officer their function under subsection (4A) of determining—
(a)whether a service complaint panel is to include independent members (and, if so, how many);
(b)whether particular functions are to be exercised by independent members of a service complaint panel.
(4D)A delegation under subsection (4C) may relate to—
(a)a particular service complaint;
(b)any service complaint of a description determined by the Defence Council; or
(c)all service complaints.
(4E)The Defence Council may not—
(a)make a determination under subsection (4A)(a) where a requirement mentioned in subsection (6)(a)(i) or (ii) or section 336A(2)(a) applies;
(b)make a determination under subsection (4A)(b) where a requirement mentioned in subsection (6)(a)(iii) or section 336A(2)(b) applies.”
(6)In subsection (6)—
(a)for “The regulations” substitute “ Regulations under subsection (5)(a) ”; and
(b)for paragraph (a) substitute—
“(a)impose, in the case of any service complaint of a prescribed description, one or more of the following requirements—
(i)a requirement for a service complaint panel to include a prescribed number of independent members;
(ii)a requirement for all or a prescribed majority of the members of a service complaint panel to be independent members;
(iii)a requirement for prescribed functions to be exercised by independent members of a service complaint panel;”.
(7)After section 336 of AFA 2006 insert—
(1)Regulations made by the Secretary of State may, in relation to any service complaint of a prescribed description, make provision—
(a)requiring the Defence Council to exercise their power under section 335(1) to delegate to a service complaint panel all or any of the functions conferred on them by or under section 334; and
(b)imposing one or more of the requirements mentioned in subsection (2).
(2)Those requirements are—
(a)a requirement for all or a prescribed majority of the members of the service complaint panel to be independent members;
(b)a requirement for prescribed functions to be exercised by independent members of the service complaint panel.
(3)In this section—
“independent member” has the same meaning as in section 336;
“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations under this section;
“service complaint” has the same meaning as in section 334;
“service complaint panel” has the same meaning as in section 335.”
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