Clause 32 - Offences: bodies corporate and unincorporated associations

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:30 pm ar 7 Rhagfyr 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Ceidwadwyr, Basingstoke

With this it will be convenient to discuss clause 33 stand part.

Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Clause 32 relates to which bodies can be prosecuted under the essay mill provisions in the Bill. Cheating service providers can range from UK-based organisations registered at Companies House with offices and permanent staff to lone individuals operating with minimal infrastructure. Where offences are committed by companies, unincorporated bodies and partnerships, the clause enables certain individuals, such as the directors of companies, to also be prosecuted in particular circumstances. It also sets out some relevant procedural rules. For example, it clarifies that proceedings for offences committed by an unincorporated body should be brought in the name of the body and not its members, and any fine imposed on conviction of an unincorporated body should be paid out of the funds of the body. The clause will enable the legislation to function with legal certainty. Clause 33 sets out the definitions of certain terms in this chapter, allowing for absolute clarity on the intended purpose of the clause.

Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Shadow Minister (Education)

We welcome clause 32. It is important that where offences are committed by bodies of this sort there are consequences for their officers. The clause ensures that directors, managers, secretaries or other similar officers of the body corporate are guilty of an offence, if an offence under this chapter is committed by their body corporate and either they are known to have consented and been in connivance, or it is attributable to neglect of their duties under the organisation. We will therefore support clause 32. Clause 33 is simply an interpretation clause that makes sense of the terms in clause 32.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 32 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 33 ordered to stand part of the Bill.