13th Report, 2014 (Session 4): The Scottish Regulators' Strategic Code of Practice

SP Paper 623 (Web Only)

EET/S4/14/R13

13th Report, 2014 (Session 4)

The Scottish Regulators' Strategic Code of Practice

Remit and membership

Remit:

The remit of the Committee is to consider and report on the Scottish economy, enterprise, energy, tourism and renewables and all other matters within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth apart from those covered by the remit of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee and matters relating to the Cities Strategy falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy.

Membership:

Richard Baker
Chic Brodie
Murdo Fraser (Convener)
Patrick Harvie
Richard Lyle
Gordon MacDonald
Joan McAlpine
Margaret McDougall
Dennis Robertson (Deputy Convener)

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Douglas Wands

Senior Assistant Clerk
Rodger Evans

Assistant Clerk
Diane Barr

The Scottish Regulators' Strategic Code of Practice

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

1. At its meeting on 3 December 2014, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee considered the Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code of Practice. Section 5 of the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 gives Scottish Ministers the power to issue a Code of Practice in support of the duty on regulators to contribute to sustainable economic growth. The Official Report of the meeting is available on the Committee’s webpage.1

Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code of Practice

2. The Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code of Practice was laid on 10 November 2014.

3. It requires regulatory functions to be exercised in accordance with the principles of better regulation and promotes an approach whereby regulators seek to understand those they regulate.

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee consideration

4. The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee considered the Strategic Code of Practice on 25 November 2014 and published its report on 26 November.

5. The Committee noted that the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee had raised a concern about the regulatory functions to which the Code of Practice applies. In its report the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee indicated that in its view, and the view of the Parliament, the intention of the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 was for the Code of Practice to apply to any regulatory function both practical and operational. It raised a concern that the inclusion in the Strategic Code of Practice of a statement that it should not apply to the exercise of regulatory functions in individual cases was an unusual or unexpected use of the power conferred on the Ministers by section 5 of the Act.

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee consideration

6. In considering the Strategic Code of Practice, the Committee explored a number of issues with the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism.

7. In response to the concerns raised by the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee the Minister informed the Committee of his intention to withdraw the Scottish Regulators' Strategic Code of Practice in order to make revisions. Consequently the Minister did not move S4M-11680—That the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee recommends that the Scottish Regulators' Strategic Code of Practice be approved.

Recommendation

8. The Committee makes no recommendation at this time and will consider the revised Scottish Regulators' Strategic Code of Practice when it is re-laid in 2015.


Any links to external websites in this report were working correctly at the time of publication.  However, the Scottish Parliament cannot accept responsibility for content on external websites.

Footnotes:

1 Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee. www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/55890.aspx

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