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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee 28 September 2021 [Draft]

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


Instruments not subject to Parliamentary Procedure

Under agenda item 6, an issue has been raised on the following instrument.

Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006 (Commencement No 6 and Transitional Provision) Order 2021 (SSI 2021/314 (C 21))

The instrument brings into force section 17 of, and schedule 1 to, the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006. It forms part of a package of Scottish statutory instruments relating to elections that were laid before the Parliament earlier this month.

In correspondence, the committee asked the Scottish Government why section 17 and schedule 1 are only now being commenced, 15 years after the 2006 act was passed. The Scottish Government replied to say that there was an apparent omission in section 17 of the 2006 act at the time that it was enacted, in so far as it did not commence the accounting period for election expenses when an individual becomes a candidate.

That is being corrected by article 3(4) of the Scottish Local Government Elections Amendment Order 2021, which the committee considered last week. That in turn enables section 17 of the 2006 act to be brought into force by the current instrument. A copy of the Scottish Government’s full response can be read in paper 3 for the meeting, which is available on the committee’s website.

The response also indicates that steps to rectify the omission were not given priority, despite there having been various local government elections since 2006. Given the omission and the delay in resolving it, are members content to report the instrument under reporting ground (g), on the basis that it has been made by what appears to be an unusual or unexpected use of the commencement powers conferred by the parent statute?

Members indicated agreement.

Also, does the committee wish to highlight to the lead committee the Scottish Government’s response as to why the delay in rectifying the omission occurred, so that that committee might consider whether the explanation is satisfactory from a policy perspective?

Members indicated agreement.

No points have been raised on the following instruments.

Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Sheriff Court Company Insolvency Rules Amendment) (Insolvency) 2021 (SSI 2021/324)

Is the committee content with the instruments?

Members indicated agreement.

We now move into private session.

10:44 Meeting continued in private until 11:41.