HC Deb 18 June 1974 vol 875 cc381-3
Mr. Harold Walker

I beg to move Amendment No. 47, in page 10, line 4, after 'Commission', insert 'or the Executive'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. George Thomas)

With this we are to take Amendments Nos. 48 and 49.

Mr. Walker

These amendments correct an anomaly in the commission's powers to make agency arrangements, as at present drafted. The amendments ensure that the commission can arrange for some other person or body to perform on its behalf functions which are specifically given to the executive by the Bill. Most importantly, these include making adequate arrangements for enforcement of the relevant statutory provisions.

The commission has the general and overall function of making arrangements to carry into effect the purposes of the Bill. The executive is its main operational arm for this purpose, and is accountable to the commission for what it does, even though it is given the particular function of securing enforcement. Because it has the overall responsibility, clearly the commission only should decide whether any of the executive's particular functions might in certain cases more appropriately be carried out by some other body. Only the commission, therefore, has the power to make an agency agreement.

Where the executive's enforcement functions are delegated in this way, it will still be responsible to the commission for the adequacy of enforcement work done by the agent. The commission cannot therefore delegate either its own or the executive's responsibilities under an agency agreement. But it can make use of convenient resources and facilities which are not within the executive. For instance, the executive's work for enforcing requirements concerning emissions to the air in Scotland can conveniently be carried out by the Scottish Industrial Pollution Inspectorate, the bulk of inspection on farms can conveniently be done by the Agricultural Department's field officers, and so on. Agency Agreements will be made to this effect.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 48, in page 10, line 5, at end insert ' or, as the case may be, of the Executive;'.

No. 49, in line 23, leave out 'to advise the Commission' and insert 'or committees of persons to provide the Commission with advice'.—[Mr. Harold Walker.]

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