Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo
Session 2006/2007
Second Report

Report of the
Examiner of Statutory Rules
the Assembly
the Appropriate Committees

29 June 2007

Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety

S.R. 2007 Nos. 292, 301, 304

Committee for Employment and Learning

S.R. 2007 No. 293

Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

S.R.2007 No. 291

Committee for Social Development

S.R. 2007 Nos. 297, 298, 306

  1. In accordance with the delegations in respect of the technical scrutiny of statutory rules under Standing Order 41(4)(b) given to the Examiner of Statutory Rules by the appropriate Committees 11, 16, 17 and 18 May 2007, I submit my report on the statutory rules listed in the Appendix.
  2. My terms of reference are essentially set out in Standing Order 41(6) (taken with the delegations under Standing Order 41(4)(b)) are as follows:

“( 6) In scrutinising an instrument the appropriate Committee shall inter alia consider the instrument with a view to determining and reporting on whether it requires to be drawn to the special attention of the Assembly on any of the following grounds, namely, that -

(a) it imposes a charge on the public revenues or prescribes the amount of any such charge;

(b) it contains provisions requiring any payment to be made to any Northern Ireland department or public body in respect of any approval, authorisation, licence or consent or of any service provided or to be provided by that department or body or prescribes the amount of any such payment;

(c) the parent legislation excludes it from challenge in the courts;

(d) it purports to have retrospective effect where the parent legislation confers no express authority so to provide;

(e) there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in the publication of it or in the laying of it before the Assembly;

(f) there appears to be a doubt whether it is intra vires or it appears to make some unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the parent legislation;

(g) it calls for elucidation;

(h) it appears to have defects in its drafting;

or on any other ground which does not impinge on its merits or the policy behind it.”.

Statutory rule to which I draw attention in this report

(Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/292)

  1. I draw the attention of the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Assembly to the General Dental Services (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/292) on the grounds that they were laid in breach of the 21-rule and that they are defectively drafted in two respects, acknowledged by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
  2. The Department has acknowledged the breach of the 21-day rule (that is, the well-established rule of practice whereby, in the case of a statutory rule that is subject to negative resolution, the Department should allow at least 21 days between the laying of the statutory rule and the date on which it comes into operation). The Department was in breach of this by one day: it has apologised for the breach and will ensure that this does not happen again.
  3. In two places there are references to the “Disciplinary Committee” whereas the references should be to the “discipline committee” for consistency with the terminology used in the Health and Personal Social Services (Disciplinary Procedures) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 (“the Disciplinary Procedures Regulations”): see regulation 2(6)/substituted paragraph 2(b)(i) of Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations and regulation 2(8)/substituted words in paragraph 28(6)(b)(ii) of Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations.
  4. And in two places there are references to “the matter having been referred under regulation 7(1) of the Disciplinary Procedures Regulations for investigation” whereas the referral is made under regulation 5(1) of those Regulations: see regulation 2(4)/substituted regulation 23(1)(b) of the principal Regulations and regulation 2(5)/substituted regulation 29(b) of the principal Regulations.
  5. The Department intends to make early corrective amendments of the principal Regulations.
  6. I report the Regulations accordingly to the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee and the Assembly .
W G Nabney
Examiner of Statutory Rules
29 June 2007

(The attention of the appropriate Committees and the Assembly is drawn to those statutory rules marked in bold )

Statutory rules subject to negative resolution

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/293)

General Dental Services (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/292)

The Education (Student Support) (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/293)

The Register of Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/297)

The Social Security (Students and Income-related Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/298)

The Addition of Vitamins, Minerals and Other Substances Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 S.R. 2007/301)

The Spreadable Fats (Marketing Standards) (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/304)

The Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments No. 2) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/306)