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UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021

Section 27 - Restrictions on preparing an improvement report

124.Section 27 provides that Environmental Standards Scotland may not prepare an improvement report in respect of certain failures to comply with environmental law. Firstly, it may not prepare a report in respect of a failure arising out of any decision taken by a public authority in the exercise of its regulatory functions in relation to a particular person or case. Secondly, it may not prepare a report in respect of a failure arising out of particular conduct which has been the subject of a compliance notice that has not been subsequently withdrawn. This would ensure that the same failure was not subject to dual processes. The potential to withdraw the compliance notice and switch to an improvement report process covers the instance where Environmental Standards Scotland subsequently discovers that a failure is more systematic or widespread than it initially considered. For example, it could initially be considered that a public body was wrongly exercising a regulatory function, leading to a compliance notice, and subsequently be discovered that the problem was systematic (for example reflected in guidance and funding decisions), or widespread across public bodies. In that case, Environmental Standards Scotland might decide to withdraw the compliance notice and prepare an improvement report covering the wider, systemic issues.

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