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Public Guardian Board

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

My right hon. and noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Baroness Ashton of Upholland has made the following written ministerial statement.

“Today I have laid the Public Guardian Board Regulations 2007 before Parliament. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the framework for making decisions and acting on behalf of individuals who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves. The Act aims both to protect people who lack capacity and to maximise their autonomy and ability to participate in decision-making.

The Act establishes a new statutory office holder, the Public Guardian, with specific functions intended to ensure that attorneys and deputies appointed to make decisions on behalf of people who lack capacity do so in accordance with their powers. The Act also establishes a Public Guardian Board to oversee the functions of the Public Guardian. The board’s duty is to scrutinise and review the way in which the Public Guardian discharges his functions and to make recommendations to the Lord Chancellor as it thinks appropriate. The regulations prescribe requirements for the selection of the board’s chair, the term of office of members, the resignation, suspension or removal of members and other procedural matters.

I will today announce the appointment of the seven inaugural members of the Public Guardian Board. The board is operating in shadow form until October 2007 when it will take on its full statutory role”.