Clause 164 - Further publicity requirements: Part 4

Enterprise Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:30 pm ar 7 Mai 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Ceidwadwyr, Eastbourne 4:30, 7 Mai 2002

I beg to move amendment No. 316, in clause 164, page 120, line 5, at end insert

'but should be published as soon after such action or decision as is reasonably practicable.'.

Welcome back to our deliberations, Mr. Beard. We have been racing ahead; this morning the Government accepted a series of minor amendments tabled by me that have to be incorporated into a later stage of the Bill. I hope that my luck will hold.

This is an unobjectionable little amendment that would ensure that publication takes place soon. There is no earthly reason why it should not be done promptly but it is as well that it should be in the Bill. I cannot imagine any reasonable Minister having a problem with the amendment.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry

The amendment would ensure that where reasons for decisions are not published at the time of the decision they are published as soon as is reasonably practicable after the decision has been taken. It is our intention that the requirement to publish reasons for decisions will increase the transparency of the operation of the regime; it will also increase the public accountability of the decision makers.

Subsection (6) provides that where it is not reasonably practicable to do so, reasons are not required to be published at the same time as the decision concerned is taken. However, I assure the hon. Gentleman that it is implicit in the subsection, as it is in the rest of the clause, that the requirements to publish should be met as soon as is practicable. It is not therefore necessary to add to the provision and we do not want to treat it differently from the rest of the clause. I sympathise with the reasons for tabling the amendment, but it is unnecessary. In any event, we

shall act in accordance with the hon. Gentleman's wishes in this regard. I hope that he will ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Nigel Waterson Nigel Waterson Ceidwadwyr, Eastbourne

I do not know what has happened to the Minister since we broke for lunch; she is in a much less amenable mood than she was. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: No. 272, in clause 164, page 120, leave out lines 8 to 10.—[Miss Johnson.]

Clause 164, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.