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Regulatory Impact Statement:Regulatory Impact Statement: Increasing the Visibility of Legislative Quality Issues

Annex 5:  Matters Proposed for Disclosure about Delegated Legislation (included in all 3 Packages)

The objective of the proposed disclosure requirement for delegated legislation is to provide the public and members of Parliament (especially members of the Regulations Review Committee) with information to support their scrutiny of the legislation.

Standing Orders permit the Regulations Review Committee to examine and report on all regulations, and to investigate complaints from the public on the operation of regulations. Members of the committee can also give a notice of motion to disallow a regulation, which must then be dealt with by the House.

Coverage of Delegated Legislation

There is a huge and extremely diverse range of delegated legislation for which a disclosure statement could in theory be contemplated. But if the intention of providing a disclosure is to inform opportunities for scrutiny, then it makes practical sense to limit coverage to those instruments that are subject to Parliamentary disallowance.

Under the new Legislation Act 2012, the range of delegated legislation that will now be subject to disallowance is likely to increase, including not just Orders in Council but also other instruments defined as having "significant legislative effect". Feedback from departments suggests that this new definition of ‘disallowable instruments" is likely to include a range of instruments for which a requirement for separate disclosure statement may not always be useful or cost-effective (e.g. fisheries notices).

Consequently it is proposed that the disclosure obligation should be limited to those disallowable instruments that are drafted by PCO in accordance with the Legislation Act. Further consideration can be given under Packages 2 and 3 to determining whether there might be other types of disallowable instruments that might routinely justify the cost of preparing an accompanying disclosure statement, and testing this administratively.

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