Written statement to Parliament

Drafting guidance for government Bills

The Rt Hon Andrew Lansley announced that the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel have published updated guidance on government Bills.

I am pleased to announce that new guidance has today been published by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel recommending that powers to make delegated legislation conferred by government Bills should generally take the form of regulation-making powers and not order-making powers.

At the moment, government Bills often give ministers the power to make delegated legislation by order or by regulations but there is no clear distinction between these 2 forms. The guidance, which will affect the drafting of government Bills introduced in the next session of Parliament, will make a modest contribution to simplifying legislation and eliminating a source of potential confusion for readers who are currently faced with 2 forms of delegated legislation where 1 would do.

1 area where the new practice may be particularly noticeable is that Bills will provide for commencement regulations rather than commencement orders. The recommendation will not affect rules or Orders in Council.

Copies of the new guidance will be deposited in the libraries of both Houses.

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