Clause 27

Part of Statistics and Registration Service Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:15 pm ar 23 Ionawr 2007.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon Chair, Treasury Sub-Committee 6:15, 23 Ionawr 2007

I beg to move amendment No. 28, in clause 27, page 11, line 35, at end insert

‘and a copy must be placed in the Library of each House of Parliament.’.

I think that we have established that directions under the clause are a serious matter. A failure by the board to comply with its objectives or to perform its functions would be serious and so a direction is not likely to be given lightly. In reply to the hon. Member for Dundee, East, the Minister said that it is right that the remedy remain with Parliament because that is where, he hopes, due accountability will be exercised under the process. As I understand the clause, directions from the Chancellor or devolved Ministers must be in writing, but do not have to be public.

It is true that under subsection (7) a direction must be published in such a manner that the authority to which it is directed must be aware of it. However, that could mean any type of notice—a notice in the Edinburgh Gazette, for example. It could be very localised. If Parliament is to exercise its ultimate accountability functions, it must be aware of any direction made. I suppose that it is too much to hope that the Government might accept a second set of amendments, but I cannot see how he could logically oppose this one. He introduced the idea that Parliament has ultimate accountability, so I think that Parliament must be aware of directions laid under subsection (7). That is the purpose of the amendment.