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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee 21 March 2017

Agenda: Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 (Subordinate Legislation), Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Instruments subject to Negative Procedure


Contents


Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 (Subordinate Legislation)


Bankruptcy and Protected Trust Deeds (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 [Draft]

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the 10th meeting in 2017 of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee. I welcome George Adam to the committee today in place of David Torrance, who has sent his apologies.

Item 1 relates to the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016. We will consider in the first instance the draft Bankruptcy and Protected Trust Deeds (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017. Members will recall that the committee considered the technical merits of the instrument at its meeting on 28 February 2017. The committee has also been designated as the lead committee for the instrument and today we are invited to consider its policy merits.

The instrument amends minor drafting errors in the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Regulations 2016 (SSI 2016/397) and the Protected Trust Deeds (Forms) (Scotland) Regulations 2016 (SSI 2016/398) that our committee identified in November 2016. At that time, the Scottish Government agreed to correct the errors at the next legislative opportunity. Today we are invited to consider this amending instrument.

We welcome Paul Wheelhouse, who is the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy—good morning, minister. We also welcome Graham Fisher, who is head of branch 1 of the constitutional and civil law division of the Scottish Government legal directorate, and Carol Kirk, who is policy review team leader at the Accountant in Bankruptcy.

I invite the minister to make an opening statement.

Thank you, convener, and good morning, everyone.

The regulations that are before the committee today fulfil a commitment that I made to the committee at its meeting on 1 November last year, when I undertook to bring forward regulations that would amend drafting errors that had been identified in bankruptcy regulations that had been put before the committee. The drafting errors included missing words and incorrect referencing in the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Regulations 2016 and the Protected Trust Deeds (Forms) (Scotland) Regulations 2016, which were part of an exercise to consolidate legislation following the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016.

Those measures came into force on 30 November last year, and the committee might recall that I fully acknowledged the errors at the time. As a temporary mitigation, we took steps to clarify the errors, where appropriate, to ensure that the legislation was clear for those who would use it, which included annotating the available forms on the Accountant in Bankruptcy’s website with the correct information.

However, it is important to put right the errors formally at this time. The regulations that are before the committee therefore fix the errors to ensure that the regulations are accurate. In addition, we have taken the opportunity, as I indicated in my letter to the committee, to amend other minor points that stakeholders had raised during the committee’s scrutiny. I thank the committee for taking the time to consider the Scottish statutory instrument that is before it this morning. We are, of course, happy to take questions.

Thank you. As members have no questions, we move to agenda item 2, which is a debate on the motion recommending approval of the regulations. I remind the Government officials that they cannot participate in the formal debate on the motion. In accordance with rule 10.6.3 of standing orders, the debate on the motion can last no longer than 90 minutes. I invite the minister to move motion S5M-04390.

Motion moved,

That the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee recommends that the Bankruptcy and Protected Trust Deeds (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 [draft] be approved.—[Paul Wheelhouse]

As committee members have no points to make, I thank the Scottish Government for addressing its commitment to correct the errors so promptly. I am sure that the minister had a personal influence on that.

I thank the team. We are sorry that the errors happened in the first place, but we are glad to have fixed them early.

We are very grateful for that consideration. I invite you formally to respond to the debate, or the lack of it.

Thank you, convener. I thank the committee for its attention.

The question is, that motion S5M-04390 be agreed to.

Motion agreed to.

I thank the minister and his officials for attending the meeting. I suspend the meeting briefly to allow them to leave and others to take their seats.

10:08 Meeting suspended.  

10:09 On resuming—