This is entry No.36, first published on 31 March 2011, of a blog on public bodies reform. Click here to view the whole blog.

The Lords' Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee has published its 12th report of the session today including a review of Government amendments tabled for the Report stage (see here). Crucially, this accepts that the Government sunsetting amendment No.72 "does appear to the Committee to provide an effective limitation on the extent of the powers in the Bill". It then goes on to comment on Government amendment No.60A which extends the purposes specified in clause 8(1) by including the broad purpose of "improving the exercise of public functions". In a guarded judgement, the Committee indicates that "It is for the House to consider whether amendment 60A provides an effective indication of the purposes for which Parliament will expect Ministers to use their very broad powers under clauses 1 to 5". This will now be tested through debate on further amendments tabled by various Peers suggesting different approaches to defining the purpose of orders under the Bill.