59th Report, 2012 (Session 4): Public Body Consent Memorandum on the Public Bodies (Abolition of British Shipbuilders) Order [2013]

SP Paper 234 (Web Only)

SL/S4/12/R59

59th Report, 2012 (Session 4)

Public Body Consent Memorandum on The Public Bodies (Abolition of British Shipbuilders) Order [2013]

Remit and membership

Remit:

The remit of the Subordinate Legislation Committee is to consider and report on—

(a)

(i) subordinate legislation laid before the Parliament;

(ii) any Scottish Statutory Instrument not laid before the Parliament but classed as general according to its subject matter;

and, in particular, to determine whether the attention of Parliament should be drawn to any of the matters mentioned in Rule 10.3.1;

(b) proposed powers to make subordinate legislation in particular Bills or other proposed legislation;

(c) general questions relating to powers to make subordinate legislation;

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.11)

Membership:

Nigel Don (Convener)
Jim Eadie
Mike MacKenzie
Hanzala Malik
John Pentland
John Scott
Stewart Stevenson (Deputy Convener)

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Euan Donald

Assistant Clerk
Elizabeth White

Support Manager
Daren Pratt

Public Body Consent Memorandum on The Public Bodies (Abolition of British Shipbuilders) Order [2013]

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

1. At its meeting on 11 December 2012, the Committee considered the Public Bodies (Abolition of British Shipbuilders) Order [2013]. The Order is a United Kingdom Government instrument that the Scottish Parliament has been asked to consent to under section 9 of the Public Bodies Act 2011 (“the 2011 Act”). The Committee submits this report to the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee as part of its consideration of the Order.

2. The Scottish Government provided the Scottish Parliament with a public bodies consent memorandum (“PBCM”)1 which contains the draft Order.

Background

3. The 2011 Act provides UK Ministers with the power to make orders to improve the exercise of public functions, having regard to efficiency, effectiveness, economy and securing accountability to Ministers. Section 9(1) of the Act requires the consent of the Scottish Parliament to any order that would be within the legislative competence of the Parliament.

4. The consent of the Scottish Parliament is required to make an order under part 1 of the Public Bodies Act 2011 where such an order makes provision which would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.

5. A change to standing orders (Chapter 9BA) to require Public Body Act Consent Memorandums to be scrutinised by the Subordinate Legislation Committee was agreed to by Parliament on 21 November 2012. Such orders are subject to reporting under the same grounds as instruments laid before the Parliament.

6. As lead committee, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will consider the policy aims of the order, taking into account the SLC’s report, before the matter is considered by the Parliament as a whole.

Public Bodies (Abolition of British Shipbuilders) Order [2013]

7. This UK SI abolishes British Shipbuilders Corporation (BSC), established by the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977. It provides for the transfer of its property, assets and liabilities to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. It also transfers the property and rights of BSC’s subsidiaries to the Secretary of State. All of which comprises part of the UK Government’s programme of the reform of the delivery of public services.

8. BSC’s functions include the design, development, production, sale and repair and maintenance of ships and slow speed diesel marine engines and research into matters relating thereto. As these are not reserved functions the abolition of BSC therefore falls partly within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and the Parliament’s consent to the order is required.

9. BSC no longer exists as a trading company but is a shell which remains to act as the vehicle through which long term industrial disease liabilities of former employees are managed. BSC is funded entirely by the Secretary of State with its day-to-day activities being overseen by officials in the Coal Liabilities Unit. The UK Government does not consider this to be satisfactory or sustainable and that the abolition of BSC should deliver improvements in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and economy without altering the accountability of Ministers. It will also not adversely affect the ability to make a claim in respect of industrial disease since liability of BSC for such matters will transfer to the Secretary of State.

10. As this is a UK instrument it is subject to scrutiny by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. That committee did not report any issues of concern with the draft instrument.

Subordinate Legislation Committee consideration

11. At its meeting on 11 December 2012, the Committee considered the instrument under the same grounds as instruments laid before the Parliament.

12. In doing so, it determined that it did not need to draw the attention of the Parliament to the instrument on any of those grounds.


Footnotes:

1 Public Bodies (Abolition of British Shipbuilders) Order [2013] is available here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/50556.aspx

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