Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1994 c. 40


Deregulation andContracting Out Act 1994

1994 CHAPTER 40

An Act to amend, and make provision for the amendment of, statutory provisions and rules of law in order to remove or reduce certain burdens affecting persons in the carrying on of trades, businesses or professions or otherwise, and for other deregulatory purposes; to make further provision in connection with the licensing of operators of goods vehicles; to make provision for and in connection with the contracting out of certain functions vested in Ministers of the Crown, local authorities, certain governmental bodies and the holders of certain offices; and for purposes connected therewith.

[3rd November 1994]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Deregulation

Part I

Deregulation

Chapter I

General

Removal or reduction of burdens

Removal or reduction of burdens

S-1 Power to remove or reduce certain statutory burdens on businesses, individuals etc.

1 Power to remove or reduce certain statutory burdens on businesses, individuals etc.

(1) If, with respect to any provision made by an enactment, a Minister of the Crown is of the opinion—

(a) that the effect of the provision is such as to impose, or authorise or require the imposition of, a burden affecting any person in the carrying on of any trade, business or profession or otherwise, and

(b) that, by amending or repealing the enactment concerned and, where appropriate, by making such other provision as is referred to in subsection (4)(a) below, it would be possible, without removing any necessary protection, to remove or reduce the burden or, as the case may be, the authorisation or requirement by virtue of which the burden may be imposed,

he may, subject to the following provisions of this section and sections 2 to 4 below, by order amend or repeal that enactment.

(2) The reference in subsection (1)(b) above to reducing the authorisation or requirement by virtue of which a burden may be imposed includes a reference to shortening any period of time within which the burden may be so imposed.

(3) In this section and sections 2 to 4 below, in relation to an order under this section,—

(a) ‘the existing provision’ means the provision by which the burden concerned is imposed or, as the case may be, is authorised or required to be imposed; and

(b) ‘the relevant enactment’ means the enactment containing the existing provision.

(4) An order under this section shall be made by statutory instrument and may do all or any of the following—

(a) make provision (whether by amending any enactment or otherwise) creating a burden which relates to the subject matter of, but is less onerous than that imposed by, the existing provision;

(b) make such modifications of enactments as, in the opinion of the Minister concerned, are consequential upon, or incidental to, the amendment or repeal of the relevant enactment;

(c) contain such transitional provisions and savings as appear to the Minister to be appropriate;

(d) make different provision for different cases or different areas;

but no order shall be made under this section unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(5) In this section and sections 2 to 4 below—

(a) ‘Minister of the Crown’ has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975 and ‘Minister’ shall be construed accordingly;

(b) ‘burden’ includes a restriction, requirement or condition (including one requiring the payment of fees), together with—

(i) any sanction (whether criminal or otherwise) for failure to observe the restriction or to comply with the requirement or condition; and

(ii) any procedural provisions (including provisions for appeal) relevant to that sanction; and

(c) ‘enactment’, subject to subsection (6) below, means an enactment contained in this Act or in any other Act passed before or in the same Session as this Act, or any provision of an order under this section.

(6) In paragraph (c) of subsection (5) above—

(a) ‘Act’ does not include anything contained in Northern Ireland legislation, within the meaning of section 24 of the Interpretation Act 1978 ; and

(b) the reference to an enactment is a reference to an enactment as for the time being amended, extended or applied by or under any Act mentioned in that paragraph.

(7) Where a restriction, requirement or condition is subject to a criminal sanction (as mentioned in subsection (5)(b)(i) above), nothing in this section shall authorise the making of an amendment which would have the effect of leaving the restriction, requirement or condition in place but producing a different criminal sanction or altering any procedural provisions relevant to the criminal sanction.

S-2 Limitations on the power under section 1.

2 Limitations on the power under section 1.

(1) If an order under section 1 above creates a new criminal offence, then, subject to subsections (2) and (3) below, that offence shall not be punishable—

(a) on indictment with imprisonment for a term of more than two years; or

(b) on summary conviction with imprisonment for a term exceeding six months or a fine exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

(2) In the case of an offence which, if committed by an adult, is triable either on indictment or summarily and is not an offence triable on indictment only by virtue of—

(a) Part V of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 , or

(b) section 457A(4) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 ,

the reference in subsection (1)(b) above to level 5 on the standard scale shall be construed as a reference to the statutory maximum.

(3) If an order under section 1 above abolishes an offence contained in the relevant enactment and the maximum penalties for that offence are greater than those specified in subsection (1) above, the order may create a new criminal offence having maximum penalties not exceeding those applicable to the offence which is abolished.

(4) An order under section 1 above shall not contain any provision—

(a) providing for any forcible entry, search or seizure, or

(b) compelling the giving of evidence,

unless, and then only to the extent that, a provision to that effect is contained in the relevant enactment and is abolished by the order.

S-3 Preliminary consultation.

3 Preliminary consultation.

(1) Before a Minister makes an order under section 1 above, he shall—

(a) consult such organisations as appear to him to be...

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