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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee

Meeting date: Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Agenda: Instrument subject to Affirmative Procedure, Instruments subject to Negative Procedure, Instruments not subject to Parliamentary Procedure


Contents


Instruments subject to Negative Procedure

The Convener

Agenda item 2 is consideration of six instruments subject to negative procedure. Issues have been raised on three of the instruments for failure to lay them in accordance with the requirements under section 28(2) of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. The 2010 act requires that instruments subject to negative procedure be laid at least 28 days before they come into force, not counting recess periods of more than four days.


Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 (Notifiable Diseases and Notifiable Organisms) Amendment Regulations 2022 (SSI 2022/212)

The Convener

The first instrument on which issues have been raised amends the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 to add monkeypox to the list of notifiable diseases and the monkeypox virus to the list of notifiable organisms. That will trigger duties on registered medical practitioners and laboratories to share specific information with health boards where they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a person whom they are attending has monkeypox or where the virus is detected during testing. The information will also be shared to the Common Services Agency and Public Health Scotland.

The instrument was laid on 16 June 2022 and came into force later that day. In correspondence with the Presiding Officer, the Scottish Government explained that a breach of the laying requirement had been necessary to ensure that registered medical practitioners and diagnostic laboratories would be placed under a duty to report incidences of the disease so that health boards can consider whether they need to use any of the powers under the 2008 act.


National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Regulations 2022 (SSI 2022/213)

The Convener

The second instrument on which issues have been raised amends the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/364) by adding monkeypox to the list of diseases so that overseas visitors can be diagnosed and provided with treatment for monkeypox without charge. The regulations also correct one of the names already on the list of diseases.

The instrument was also laid on 16 June 2022 and came into force later that day. In correspondence with the Presiding Officer, the Scottish Government explained that a breach of the laying requirements had been necessary to ensure that there was no financial barrier to receiving treatment for monkeypox and that overseas visitors were not deterred from seeking treatment, thus reducing the risk to public health from symptomatic visitors. The Scottish Government also explained that the provisions would provide clarity to those responsible for making and recovering charges.


Sheriff Court Fees Amendment Order 2022 (SSI 2022/214)

The Convener

This is the third instrument that breaches the 28-day rule. It corrects errors identified by the Scottish Government in the Sheriff Court Fees Order 2022 (SSI 2022/181), which was considered by the committee at its meeting on 14 June 2022 as part of a package of instruments that made provision in respect of court fees. The order amends some of the prescribed fees by increasing them by between £1 and £33. It also corrects a more significant error that would have resulted in a person paying a fee of more than £100 for any actions for payment of money over £200. As that was not the intention of the instrument, the amendment increases the figure to £300, which means that actions for payment of money up to £300 will incur an associated fee of around £20.

The instrument was laid on Tuesday 21 June and will come into force on Friday 1 July. In correspondence with the Presiding Officer, the Scottish Government explained that a breach of the laying requirements had been necessary to correct errors identified in SSI 2022/181.

In relation to the three instruments, does the committee wish to draw them to the attention of the Parliament on reporting ground (j) for failure to comply with laying requirements?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

At the same time, is the committee content with the Scottish Government’s explanations provided for breaching the laying requirements in respect of SSI 2022/212 and SSI 2022/213?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

With regard to SSI 2022/214, does the committee wish to ask the Minister for Parliamentary Business for more details on the errors that were identified at the time?

Members indicated agreement.

Also under this agenda item, no points have been raised on the following instruments.


Offensive Weapons Act 2019 (Prescribed Documents) (Scotland) (No 2) Order 2022 (SSI 2022/210)

Is the committee content with the instruments?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

I should say that, in relation to SSI 2022/206, the regulations correct a minor error in the Rural Support (Controls) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (SSI 2022/107) following questions raised by the committee. The error highlighted by the committee has been resolved by the regulations before us this morning.