National Assembly appoints committee to scrutinise Statutory Instruments
The National Assembly has appointed a Committee on Statutory Instruments to be responsible for scrutinising Statutory Instruments until the Assembly’s full committee structure is established.
Chaired by the Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM, it will look at laws made by the Welsh Government under powers given to Ministers in Assembly Bills and Acts of Parliament.
They are often significant laws in their own right. The badger cull in West Wales was introduced by Statutory Instrument and other recent Statutory Instruments have reformed aspects of social care in Wales, changed food labelling laws, implemented aspects of European Union Directives and set out new qualifications standards for managers of adult care homes.
Although Statutory Instruments can be debated in the Assembly, most simply come into effect at a date set by Ministers.
The new Committee will have the job of examining each Statutory Instrument that the Government brings forward and will then report to the Assembly if any instrument gives cause for concern or is of particular public or political importance.
Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM, said: “Statutory Instruments affect many areas of public and commercial life in Wales.
“They can set out laws about how local councils and the health service are organised, the safety and labelling of food, the education system and its funding, the natural and built environment, grants, payments and local taxes and a range of other matters.
“It is very important that they are effectively scrutinised and that any causes for concern are quickly drawn to the attention of the Government and, if necessary, the Assembly as a whole. The new Committee will carry on this important work while the work of drawing up a committee structure for the fourth Assembly continues.”
The other members of the Committee are Julie James AM (Labour Party), Simon Thomas AM (Plaid Cymru) and Peter Black AM (Liberal Democrats).
The Committee’s formal remit is to be the Committee responsible for the functions set out in Standing Orders 21.2 and 21.3 and to consider any other legislative matter, other than the functions required by Standing Order 26, referred to it by the Business Committee.