As we get further disillusioned with what passes for effective Parliamentary scrutiny of this Government's never ending output of ever more complicated legislation, which seems to be a substitute for actually achieving anything positive, we did notice that some of our worries about the Draft Constitutional Reform Bill are shared by some other people
361._One particular issue of Parliamentary accountability arises in clause 43 of the Draft Bill which allows the Minister by affirmative order to "make such provision as [he] consider[s] appropriate in consequence of this Act". Under clause 43(2) that order may "amend, repeal, or revoke any provision made by or under any Act".
362._Democratic Audit told us the purpose of clause 43 needed clarifying. They argued that even if the provision were limited to amending this Act, "any alterations should require full Parliamentary procedure". (Ev04, para 6) The Justice Committee recommended that we look at "the totality of the provisions of the Bill, considers whether any of them could be made more specific in order to reduce the area in which Clause 43(1) would operate." The Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (DPRR) told us that the order-making power "should expressly be confined to the amendment of Acts passed before or in the same session as the bill." DPRR also recommended that "it should be made clear whether incidental or supplementary provision may be made under subsection (1) of clause 43." (Ev70, para 6)
363._We agree with the House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee that the power in clause 43 (to make consequential provision) should be limited to the amendment of Acts passed before or in the same session as the Bill.
We await any actual Government amendments to this Bill, with a sense of increasing resentment and frustration.
Thanks to a recent email correspondent, for reminding us about this. We had actually seen this when it was published online, but could not summon up enough enthusiasm to write a blog article about, what, after all, is only a Committee Report, of the sort which is usually ignored by this Government.