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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee 16 November 2021 [Draft]

Agenda: Decision on Taking Business in Private, Instrument subject to Affirmative Procedure, Instruments subject to Negative Procedure, Instrument not subject to Parliamentary Procedure


Instruments subject to Negative Procedure

Under item 3, we are considering three negative instruments. Issues have been raised on two of the instruments.

Public Procurement (Agreement on Government Procurement) (Thresholds etc) (Amendment) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (SSI 2021/378)

The instrument includes amendments to the thresholds that apply in the field of public procurement that are specified in a number of procurement Scottish statutory instruments. The amendments are made in accordance with the United Kingdom’s international obligations under the agreement on Government procurement, the GPA.

The committee wrote to the Scottish Government to draw its attention to a cross-referencing error in regulation 3(5). In its response, the Scottish Government agreed that it was an error and confirmed that a corrective instrument has been drafted and will be laid in early course. The Scottish Government also highlighted that an incorrect threshold appears in one of the financial thresholds that are amended by the instrument and that the corrective instrument will also rectify that error.

Full details of the error in regulation 3 can be found in the correspondence between the committee and the Scottish Government. The correspondence is included as paper 2 for this meeting, which can be found in the agenda on the committee’s website.

Does the committee wish to draw the instrument to the attention of the Parliament on the general reporting ground, on the basis that, first, regulation 3(5) refers to

“Part 2 of Schedule 2”

to the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 but should instead refer to “Part 2 of Schedule 1”; and secondly, that regulation 4(2)(b) refers to “£462,955” but should instead refer to “£426,955”? Does the committee also wish to welcome the fact that the Scottish Government will lay an amending instrument in early course to rectify those errors?

Members indicated agreement.

Private Storage Aid Scheme (Pigmeat) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (SSI 2021/398)

The instrument makes provision for a scheme to grant aid for the private storage of pigmeat and specifies the criteria for payment, the procedure for applications and by when those must be made. The scheme is designed to avoid the need for the culling of pigs on farms and the financial loss to farmers as a result.

The instrument breaches section 28(2) of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, which requires that negative instruments are laid at least 28 days before they come into force, not counting recess periods of more than four days. The instrument was laid on 5 November 2021 and came into force on 8 November 2021. The Scottish Government has written to the Presiding Officer to explain why the 28-day rule has not been complied with.

Does the committee wish to draw the instrument to the attention of the Parliament on reporting ground (j), on the basis that there was a failure to lay the instrument in accordance with the laying requirements under the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010?

Members indicated agreement.

Is the committee content with the explanation that has been provided for the breach of the laying requirements?

Members indicated agreement.

Also under this item, no points have been raised on the following instrument.

Council Tax Reduction (Scotland) Amendment (No 5) Regulations 2021 (SSI 2021/402)

Is the committee content with the instrument?

Members indicated agreement.