1. This consultation seeks views on extending the duration of Part 2 Order making powers under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (PSR Act), for a further 5 year period from June 2020.
2. The Scottish Government is seeking to extend the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, (PSR Act): Part 2 order making powers for a further 5 years by exercising the powers conferred by section 134(4) of the PSR Act. This section allows Scottish Ministers by order to extend or (on one or more occasion) further extend the 5 year period.
3. Part 2 (sections 14 through to 30 and schedules 5 to 7) of the PSR Act provides Scottish Ministers with order making powers to improve the exercise of public functions in relation to efficiency, effectiveness and economy, and to reduce or remove burdens of public bodies listed in the PSR Act.
4. In order for the Parliament to approve a further 5 year extension to Part 2 of the PSR Act, the Scottish Government will require to provide evidence that based on their past and possible future use that there is a clear need for the duration of these powers to be extended.
5. Part 2 of the PSR Act came into effect on 1 August 2010 and due to the addition of a “sunset” clause during the passage of the original Bill, these order making powers cease to have effect after 5 years. The current arrangement will expire in June 2020. The Scottish Government now looks to extend the duration of the order making powers for a further 5 years by seeking the Parliament’s approval to do so in June 2020.
6. The Scottish Government continues to believe that Part 2 powers provide an essential mechanism for making small-scale changes to public functions. We consider that it is vital to retain the order-making powers for another 5 years as these provide Government and Parliament with the flexibility to make changes quickly, as and when opportunities arise, without taking forward primary legislation.
7. Attached to Part 2 powers there is also an enhanced form of super-affirmative procedures that require to be followed, so that any proposals to utilise these powers will be subject to full public consultation, Parliamentary scrutiny and if necessary amendment before a draft order can be laid before Parliament for consideration. This additional scrutiny mechanism provides a safeguard that the Part 2 order making powers will not be misused.
8. This consultation seeks your views on the Scottish Governments proposal to seek the Parliament’s approval to a further 5 year extension to Part 2 Order in the PSR Act.