Section G: Bills

New amendments to Bills lodged on 20 January 2015

Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill – Stage 2

Section 2

Margaret Burgess

1 In section 2, page 1, line 17, at end insert—

<( ) The assistance which a local authority may use its welfare fund to provide does not include making loans.>

Section 3

Margaret Burgess

2 Leave out section 3

Section 4

Margaret Burgess

3 In section 4, page 2, line 4, leave out subsections (1) and (2) and insert—

<(2A) Where an applicant for assistance in pursuance of section 2 from a local authority applies to it to do so, the local authority must review its decision on the application.

(2B) Subsection (2A) is subject to subsection (2C).

(2C) The Scottish Ministers may by regulations—

(a) provide as to circumstances in which a decision made in pursuance of section 2 is not to be reviewed under subsection (2A),

(b) provide as to how an application for review under subsection (2A) is to be made,

(c) provide as to time limits for the making of applications for review under subsection (2A).>

Margaret Burgess

4 In section 4, page 2, line 10, leave out subsections (3) and (4)

Margaret Burgess

5 In section 4, page 2, line 20, leave out <negative> and insert <affirmative>

Section 5

Margaret Burgess

6 In section 5, page 2, line 23, leave out <this Act> and insert <sections 1 to 4>

Margaret Burgess

7 In section 5, page 2, line 37, leave out <this Act> and insert <sections 1 to 4>

Margaret Burgess

8 In section 5, page 2, leave out line 39

Margaret Burgess

9 In section 5, page 3, leave out lines 1 and 2

Margaret Burgess

10 In section 5, page 3, line 2, at end insert—

<( ) about the procedure which local authorities are to follow in relation to reviews in pursuance of section 4, or applications for such reviews, including the period within which they are to take any particular steps,>

Margaret Burgess

11 In section 5, page 3, line 12, leave out subsection (4)

Margaret Burgess

12 In section 5, page 3, line 14, leave out <negative> and insert <affirmative>

Section 6

Margaret Burgess

13 In section 6, page 3, line 17, leave out <this Act.> and insert—

<(a) sections 1 to 4,

(b) any regulations made under section 5.>

Margaret Burgess

14 In section 6, page 3, line 23, after <fit,> insert—

<( ) the Ombudsman,>

After section 6

Margaret Burgess

15 After section 6, insert—

<Further review by Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Application to Ombudsman for further review

(1) Subsection (2) applies where an applicant for assistance in pursuance of section 2 is dissatisfied with the outcome of a review by a local authority in pursuance of section 4.

(2) An application for a further review may be made to the Ombudsman—

(a) by the applicant, or

(b) by a person authorised for the purpose by the applicant.

(3) An application under subsection (2) may be made orally or in writing.

(4) The Ombudsman must not consider an application under subsection (2) made more than one month after the day on which the applicant first had notice of the outcome of the review by the local authority in pursuance of section 4, unless the Ombudsman is satisfied that there are circumstances which make it appropriate to consider an application made outwith that period.

(5) It is for the Ombudsman to determine whether an application under subsection (2) has been duly made.>

Margaret Burgess

16 After section 6, insert—

<Ombudsman’s powers

If, on a review in pursuance of an application under section (Application to Ombudsman for further review)(2), the Ombudsman considers that a different decision should have been made by the local authority, the Ombudsman may quash the decision and—

(a) direct the local authority to reconsider the application to which the decision relates, or

(b) direct the local authority to use its welfare fund to provide—

(i) the assistance concerned, or

(ii) any other assistance (being assistance which may be provided by the local authority under section 2).>

Margaret Burgess

17 After section 6, insert—

<Statement of practice

(1) The Ombudsman must prepare a statement of practice setting out the approach which the Ombudsman intends to take to the conduct of reviews in pursuance of applications under section (Application to Ombudsman for further review)(2).

(2) Before preparing the statement of practice, the Ombudsman must consult—

(a) local authorities, and

(b) such other persons as the Ombudsman considers appropriate.

(3) The Ombudsman must publish the statement of practice in such manner as the Ombudsman considers appropriate.

(4) The Ombudsman may revise the statement of practice.

(5) Subsections (2) to (4) apply to a revised statement of practice as they apply to the original statement of practice.>

Margaret Burgess

18 After section 6, insert—

<Procedural matters

(1) The procedure for conducting a review in pursuance of an application under section (Application to Ombudsman for further review)(2) is to be such as the Ombudsman thinks fit.

(2) The Ombudsman may, in particular—

(a) obtain information from such persons and in such manner, and make such inquiries, as the Ombudsman thinks fit,

(b) hold an oral hearing or determine the review without one.

(3) The Ombudsman may require any of the following persons to supply or produce information or documents which the Ombudsman considers is or are, or may be, relevant to the review—

(a) the local authority concerned,

(b) the applicant for assistance,

(c) any other person.

(4) The Ombudsman may administer oaths at an oral hearing held in relation to the review.

(5) The Ombudsman may make rules setting out—

(a) factors to be taken into account by the Ombudsman in deciding whether to hold an oral hearing in relation to a review in pursuance of applications under section (Application to Ombudsman for further review)(2),

(b) the procedure to be followed in connection with an oral hearing.

(6) Before making such rules, the Ombudsman must consult—

(a) local authorities, and

(b) such other persons as the Ombudsman considers appropriate.

(7) The Ombudsman must publish any such rules as soon as reasonably practicable.>

Margaret Burgess

19 After section 6, insert—

<Obstruction and contempt

(1) Where—

(a) a person, without lawful excuse, obstructs the Ombudsman in the exercise of the Ombudsman’s functions in relation to a review in pursuance of an application under section (Application to Ombudsman for further review)(2), or

(b) a person does any act or fails to take any action in relation to such review by the Ombudsman which, if the review were a proceeding in the Court of Session, would constitute contempt of court,

the Ombudsman may apply by petition to the Court of Session for the person to be dealt with in accordance with subsection (2).

(2) Where such a petition is presented, the Court of Session may inquire into the matter and after hearing—

(a) any witnesses who may be produced against or on behalf of the person in question, and

(b) any statement which may be offered in defence,

may deal with the person as if the person had committed a contempt of court in relation to the Court of Session.>

Margaret Burgess

20 After section 6, insert—

<Notice of decision and publication of report

(1) After conducting a review in pursuance of an application under section (Application to Ombudsman for further review)(2), the Ombudsman—

(a) must notify the applicant for assistance and the local authority concerned of the Ombudsman’s decision, and

(b) may publish a report of the review.

(2) Apart from identifying the local authority concerned, a report of a review must not—

(a) mention the name of any person, or

(b) contain any particulars which, in the Ombudsman’s opinion, are likely to identify any person and can be omitted without impairing the effectiveness of the report.>

Margaret Burgess

21 After section 6, insert—

<General

Interpretation

In this Act, “the Ombudsman” means the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.>

Margaret Burgess

22 After section 6, insert—

<Consequential modifications

(1) The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 is modified as follows.

(2) In section 14(1)(a), after “functions” insert “under sections 2 to 13”.

(3) After section 16G, insert—

Other functions of the Ombudsman

16H Reviews under the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015

As well as the functions conferred by sections 2 to 16G, the Ombudsman has the functions in relation to the review of decisions by local authorities conferred by the 2015 Act (see sections (Application to Ombudsman for further review) to (Interpretation) of that Act).”.

(4) In section 18(1), after paragraph (c) insert—

“(d) any statement made by the Ombudsman in pursuance of section (Notice of decision and publication of report) of the 2015 Act,

(e) any statement made by the Ombudsman in communicating with any person for the purposes of a welfare fund review,

(f) any statement made by any person in communicating with the Ombudsman for the purposes of such a review.”.

(5) In section 19—

(a) in subsection (2), after paragraph (d) insert—

“(e) where subsection (2A) applies, the purposes of a welfare fund review.”

(b) after subsection (2), insert—

“(2A) This subsection applies if—

(a) the matter in respect of which the complaint or request has been made relates to an exercise of a function by a local authority on an application to receive assistance in pursuance of section 2 of the 2015 Act, and

(b) the welfare fund review relates to the decision made by the authority on that application.

(2B) Information obtained by the Ombudsman or any of the Ombudsman’s advisers in connection with a welfare fund review must not be disclosed except for any of the purposes specified in subsection (2C) or as permitted by subsection (3).

(2C) Those purposes are—

(a) the purposes of the review,

(b) the purposes of any proceedings for—

(i) an offence under the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989 alleged to have been committed in respect of information obtained by the Ombudsman,

(ii) an offence of perjury alleged to have been committed in the course of the review,

(c) the purposes of an inquiry with a view to the taking of any of the proceedings mentioned in paragraph (b),

(d) the purposes of any proceedings under section (Obstruction and contempt) of the 2015 Act,

(e) where subsection (2D) applies, the purposes of any consideration of a complaint or request in respect of a matter, or the investigation of the matter.

(2D) This subsection applies if—

(a) the matter in respect of which the complaint or request has been made relates to an exercise of a function by a local authority on an application to receive assistance in pursuance of section 2 of the 2015 Act, and

(b) the welfare fund review relates to the decision made by the authority on that application.”,

(c) in subsection (3), after “(1)” insert “or (2B)”,

(d) after subsection (5), insert—

“(5A) It is not competent to call upon the Ombudsman or the Ombudsman’s advisers to give evidence in any proceedings (other than proceedings referred to in subsection (2C)) of matters coming to the knowledge of the Ombudsman or advisers in connection with a welfare fund review.”.

(6) In section 20(1), after “Act” insert “or the 2015 Act”.

(7) In section 23(1)—

(a) before the entry for “action” insert—

““the 2015 Act” means the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015,”

(b) after the entry for “the Ombudsman” insert—

““the Ombudsman’s functions” includes the Ombudsman’s functions under the 2015 Act,”,

(c) after the entry for “request” insert—

““welfare fund review” means a review in pursuance of an application under section (Application to Ombudsman for further review)(2) of the 2015 Act.”.>

Section 7

Margaret Burgess

23 In section 7, page 3, line 31, leave out <incidental, supplementary, consequential,>


Proposals for Members’ Bills

A member seeking to introduce a Member’s Bill must first lodge a draft proposal, together with a consultation document (or a statement of reasons why consultation is not considered necessary). Subsequently, the member may lodge a final proposal, in broadly similar terms to the draft, accompanied by a summary of consultation responses (or the statement of reasons). The member secures the right to introduce a Bill to give effect to the proposal if the final proposal secures, within one month, the support of at least 18 other members from at least half the political parties or groups represented in the Parliamentary Bureau, and provided no indication is given that the Scottish Government or UK Government is planning equivalent legislation.

All current proposals (together with associated documents) are available on the Scottish Parliament website at:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/12419.aspx

Current Final Proposals

Names marked with an asterisk (*) are new names of support. Where a proposal has secured the necessary level of cross-party support, the supporters’ names are shown in bold.

Anne McTaggart: Proposed Organ and Tissue Donation (Scotland) Bill— Proposal for a Bill to amend the law on human transplantation, including by authorising (in certain circumstances) the posthumous removal of organs and tissue from an adult who had not given express consent. (lodged 6 January 2015).

The proposal was accompanied by a summary of consultation responses, which may be viewed in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) or on the website page referred to above. Individual responses may also be viewed in SPICe.

Supported by: Hugh Henry, Rhoda Grant, David Stewart, Paul Martin, Michael McMahon, Siobhan McMahon, Ken Macintosh, Elaine Murray, James Kelly, Mark Griffin, Patricia Ferguson, Neil Findlay, Mary Fee, Cara Hilton, Malcolm Chisholm, Iain Gray, John Pentland, Richard Simpson, Margaret McDougall, Graeme Pearson, Hanzala Malik, Margaret McCulloch, Jenny Marra, Claudia Beamish, Jackson Carlaw, Alison Johnstone, Kenneth Gibson, Alex Rowley, Stewart Maxwell, Liam McArthur, Jim Hume, Neil Bibby, Kezia Dugdale

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