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Parliamentary Scrutiny Override Mechanism

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times his Department has used the parliamentary scrutiny override mechanism in each year since 2001; for what reasons it was used in each case; and if he will make a statement. (117664)

Since 2003, the Government have submitted a report to Parliament every six months on parliamentary scrutiny overrides, following the recommendation contained in the report from the House of Lords European Committee (1st report, 2002-03), with which the Government agreed. These reports identify those occasions in each six-month period when the Government were unable to comply fully with the terms of the Scrutiny Reserve Resolutions in one or both Houses and record correspondence that Ministers have had with the Scrutiny Committees. The parliamentary scrutiny override mechanism is only used as a last resort and in each case, Ministers must give the Scrutiny Committees a proper account of the circumstances of the override.

In 2003, DEFRA Ministers used the parliamentary scrutiny override mechanism in the House of Commons 11 times; in 2004 it was used nine times; in 2005 it was used 16 times; and in 2006 it was used seven times.