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independent review of terrorist asset freezing act 2010 December 15, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : transparency , add a comment

David Anderson, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has published his first report. There’s a lot in this report, including a very clear description of the background and of the statute. Reading the report it isn’t very clear that there’s much clarity about what the freezing of assets is really achieving. The report notes, for example, that the Treasury’s list of designated persons “has a distinctly haphazard look” (para. 10.12).
The report makes a number of recommendations, including:

The Treasury should issue and present to Parliament a statement of policy regarding ts approach to designation under TAFA 2010, in order to ensure that the power is used in a consistent and principled manner. That statement should deal, in particular, with: (1) the factors that may lead the Treasury to conclude that the statutory tests for designation (in particular, the necessity test) are satisfied;(2) the factors that in a case where the statutory tests are satisfied may inform the Treasury’s exercise of its discretion to designate (or to retain a designation in force). It should also confirm that no designation will be made, or retained in force, without consideration of whether designation would be proportionate bearing in mind the anticipated effect on private and family life (Article 8 ECHR) and property rights (Article 1 of the First Protocol).

The report also makes recommendations about improving procedures for designation and review, and for licensing and compliance (for example to reduce the humiliation suffered by designated persons) and about increasing transparency.

public administration select committee on the big society December 14, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : governance , add a comment

Conclusions of today’s report:

The substantial change expected to result from the Big Society project, namely the devolution of power to communities and citizens will not occur overnight: if successful, as witnesses suggested, it will take a generation. The Government’s Big Society statements have, so far, failed to communicate this point effectively. There is public confusion with the policy agenda, eighteen months into this administration. Confusion also still exists among many service providers. Early examples, such as the Work Programme, have caused the charitable sector to express serious reservations about the implementation of the Government’s ambitions in practice.
To bring in charities and voluntary groups to deliver public services, the government must take steps to address the barriers they experience in the contracting and commissioning system, which means developing a plan to address roles, tasks, responsibilities and skills in Whitehall departments. We recommend:
a) A single Big Society Minister, who has a cross-cutting brief, to help other Ministers to drive through this agenda once they begin reporting progress against the aims of Open Public Services White Paper, from April 2012.
b) An impact assessment, applied to every Government policy, statutory instrument, and new Bill, which asks the simple question: “what substantively will this do to build social capital, people power, and social entrepreneurs?”
Unless this is done, the Big Society project will not succeed

corporate jotwell: december 2011 December 12, 2011

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This month I am recommending Kimberly Krawiec’s paper: Don’t ‘Screw Joe the Plummer’: The Sausage-Making of Financial Reform.

uk government consults on gender and insurance December 9, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : financial regulation, gender , add a comment

The UK is consulting on its proposed response to the Test-Achats decision. The announcement of the consultation states:

The Consultation document seeks views on the Government’s legal interpretation of the judgment and the accompanying draft regulations that amend the Equality Act. It also seeks comments on the Government’s impact assessment and requests additional data that would contribute to a better understanding of the impact on consumers and insurers. Finally, it asks for views on some of the key issues arising from the judgment, such as the scope of indirect discrimination.