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Draft Legislation

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his practice is regarding meeting, discussions with and taking into account the views and opinions of (a) private individuals and (b) representatives of organisations when drawing up and framing legislation to be introduced by his Department; and if he will make a statement. (81653)

The Department always seeks a full range of views when drawing up and framing legislation. Consultation is a key part of the policy-making process; both informal and formal. The Wales Office was an early adopter of pre-legislative scrutiny and the national health service (Wales) Bill was scrutinised during the 2001-02 session. Since then, a further three Bills introduced by my Department were published in draft for consultation: the Public Audit (Wales) Bill; the Transport (Wales) Bill; and, the Commissioner for Older People (Wales) Bill. A public consultation has always been conducted in parallel with the pre-legislative scrutiny process. My Department has also introduced two further Bills. My Department had conducted a public consultation jointly with the Welsh Assembly on the principles underlying the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill, and as there was general support for the proposals, further scrutiny was not considered necessary, and would only have further delayed the legislation. The Government of Wales Bill, which is currently before the House, was introduced without pre-legislative scrutiny, because the proposals need to be implemented for the May 2007 Assembly elections. Extensive consultation was however undertaken on the White Paper, which was published well in advance of this Bill being introduced. All the Department's formal consultations also abide by the Code of Conduct on Consultation.