Clause 290 - Report on exercise of powers

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:15 pm ar 8 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Ceidwadwyr, Surrey Heath 6:15, 8 Ionawr 2002

I echo my hon. Friend's comments. Our amendment No. 410 was not selected, for the obvious reason that it seeks to delete the whole of the clause, but my hon. Friend has set out the reasons why it was tabled. It would have given us the chance to explore the need to allow proper consideration of the appointment of the independent person. It would have probed the whole question of who should be appointed, how that would be decided and by whom. Clearly, it is a good idea to have independent scrutiny of how the policy is working. We have no objection to that, but the tabling of such a ''probing deletion'' is a way of finding out how the system will work, who the person will be and how he or she will be appointed. I hope that the Under-Secretary will satisfy our concerns about such important issues and explain in detail what the Government have in mind.

I also hope that the Government may incorporate into the Bill some of what I anticipate that the hon. Gentleman will say. One of our misgivings about clause 290 is that it does not set out how independent people are chosen and appointed, as other recent Acts of Parliament have outlined. Although the Bill is large, I believe that it would benefit if the clause clarified such provisions further. Even if the Under-Secretary cannot provide us with an explanation today, I hope that the Government will consider tabling an amendment on Report or in another place.