§ "Preliminary investigation by Council of certain disputes.
§ 32A.—(1) This section applies where—
- (a) representations are made to the Council by or on behalf of a person who appears to the Council to have an interest in the matter to which the representations relate; and
- (b) that matter appears to the Council to constitute a dispute of a kind which may be referred to the Director under section 14A above or 33A below, or under regulations made under section 15A above.
§ (2) It shall be the duty of the Council—
- (a) to inform the person by or on whose behalf the representations are made that he may have the right to refer his dispute to the Director; and
- (b) to make such investigations with respect to the matter to which the representations relate as may be specified in a direction given by the Director.
§ (3) Any such direction may be given so as to apply generally or to a specified class of matter or particular matter and may, in particular, specify in relation to any investigation which the Council is required to make under this section—
- (a) the practice and procedure which it is to follow in conducting its investigation; and
- (b) the information which it is to give to the Director with respect to the matter investigated.".'.—[Mr. Redwood.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.4.20 pm
§ The Minister for Corporate Affairs (Mr. John Redwood)
I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.
New clause 24—the Gas Consumers' Council—
'In section 2 of the Gas Act 1986 (the Gas Consumers' Council), the following subsection shall be inserted after subsection (3)
(3A) In appointing members for the Council, the Secretary of State shall have regard to the desirability of appointing persons who have experience in or knowledge of activities connected with the supply of gas through pipes.".'.
(2)For paragraph (b) in subsection (1), there shall be substituted
is referred to him by the Council under subsection (6G) of section 32 below.''
§ (3) Subsection (2) shall cease to have effect:'.1115
(2) For paragraph (a) in subsection (2), there shall be substituted—
(a) any matter in respect of which any functions of the Director under this Part are or may be exercisable; and
(3) For paragraph (b) in subsection (2), there shall be substituted—
(b) any matter which relates to the supply of gas through pipes and in respect of which any functions of the Director General of Fair Trading under the Fair Trading Act 1973 or the Competition Act 1980 are or may be exercisable.
§ (4) In subsection (3), for "paragraph (a) of subsection (2) above" there shall be substituted "subsection (2) of section 33 below".
§ (5) The followng subsections shall be inserted after subsection (6)—
§ "(6A) Where under an investigation under subsection (1) above any matter appears to the Council to be an enforcement matter the Council may prepare a written report on that matter and shall (subject to section 42 below) send a copy of any such report to—
- (a) any person to whom the report refers or who (whether or not he has made a representation to the Council) appears to the Council to have an interest in the matter to which the report relates;
- (b) the Director General of Fair Trading or any person whose functions under any enactment appear to the Council to be exercisable in relation to that matter;
- (c) any person who appears to the Council to be a person who ought to take account of the report in determining how to act in relation to that matter;
- (d) the Director.
§ (6B) In reporting the matter under subsection (6A), the Council may recommend—
- (a) that he matter be reconsidered by the public gas supplier concerned;
- (b) that the Director consider exercising any of his functions under section 28 above.
§ (6C) More than one recommendation may be included in a report under this section.
§ (6D) Where the Council includes any recommendation in a report under this section, the report shall give the Council's reasons for making the recommendation.
§ (6E) Where—
- (a) a report is sent to any public gas supplier under subsection (6A) above; and
- (b) the report includes a recommendation directed to that supplier, the shall have regard to it and notify the Council of the action which he has taken, or proposes to take, to comply with the recommendation.
§ (6F) Where a public gas supplier fails to comply (whether wholly or partly) with a recommendation under subsection (6B) above the Council shall refer the matter to the Director."
§ (6) Subsection (7) shall cease to have effect.'.
§ (2) After the words "advise the" there shall be inserted "Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the".
§ (3) In paragraph (a) after the words "any of the" there shall be inserted "Secretary of State's or, as the case may be, the".
§ (4) In paragraph (b) after the words "by the" there shall be inserted "Secretary of State of the".'.1116
§ (2) In subsection (2) after the words "advised the" there shall be inserted "Secretary of State or the".'.