Clause 147

Part of Equality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:15 pm ar 30 Mehefin 2009.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Penrose John Penrose Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills) 6:15, 30 Mehefin 2009

I beg to move amendment 22, in clause 147, page 108, line 27, at end insert—

‘(5) Before regulations are made under this section, there must be laid before both Houses of Parliament

(a) draft regulations, and

(b) evidence that the regulations will enable the better performance by public authorities of the duty imposed by subsection (1).’.

Amendment 22 is rather similar to amendment 21 on clause 143, which we discussed earlier, as Committee members can tell from the sequential numbering. The amendment would ensure that the Government are producing plenty of proof and evidence about the effectiveness of the public sector equality duty, both for current consumption and to ensure that we have an evidence base to see how well the duty is working and whether it can be made to work more effectively and efficiently in future.

Clause 147 allows a Minister of the Crown to impose additional duties on a public authority specified in part 1 of schedule 19 for the purposes of enabling a better performance by the authority of that duty. The amendment is duplicating the questions that we were asking with amendment 21 to clause 143. Since the Minister has already given a fairly full answer to that previous amendment I will not ask her to repeat it, but I should like her to clarify what she believes is the scope of the powers that could be required under the clause, where the edges of those powers would be and what she feels would be the maximum scope that could be applied and, therefore, the extent of the evidence that might be required, which I hope that the Government will produce  in any case, bearing in mind the response that the Minister has already given to the Committee on amendment 21. I hope that she can clarify the matter and help us.