New Zealand Law Society - Concerns raised over 29 regulations during 2015

Concerns raised over 29 regulations during 2015

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Between 23 October 2014 and 3 December 2015, Parliament's Regulations Review Committee raised concerns about 29 DINLIs (disallowable instruments that are not legislative instruments) with the responsible departments or agencies.

The committee's report, Activities of the Regulations Review Committee in 2015, has been presented to the House of Representatives.

It says scrutiny of DINLIs often finds a number of problems. These include not specifying the date on which they were made, not specifying the empowering provision under which they were made, not specifying the date on which they come into force, confusing naming practices, no accompanying explanatory note, not being presented to the House within 16 sitting days, as required by section 41 of the Legislation Act 2012, and not being available on the agency's website.

The committee says it raised issues about DINLIs with the New Zealand Racing Board (about the notice amending the Betting Rules).

It says the Parliamentary Counsel Office established the Access to Subordinate Instruments Project in response to a Cabinet directive. The project's objective is to improve access to legislation by publishing all subordinate instruments on the New Zealand legislation website. It would result in a single, comprehensive, official public source for all New Zealand legislation.

The committee says a Cabinet paper is being prepared for a decision "in late 2016" on whether the project is to proceed.

Considering regulation-making power in bills, the committee says it examines all bills that come before select committees for delegated legislation-making powers.

It says the main recurring areas of concern that arose in its scrutiny during the reporting period were commencement by Order in Council (five bills during the period), Henry VIII powers (three bills), modifying definitions by way of regulation (one bill), and broad, open-ended powers (one bill).