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UKAJI October 2020 round-up

UKAJI October 2020 round-up

Here is UKAJI’s round-up of important administrative justice news, events, and publications for October 2020. If you have anything to add to this round-up or any future round-ups, please contact Lee Marsons on lm17598@essex.ac.uk.

NB: the acronym IRAL referred to throughout this round-up stands for the Independent Review of Administrative Law.

UKAJI blog posts

Articles and publications

Reports and policy papers

Events

Cases of interest

Devolved affairs

  • As of 12 October, the Scottish Government opened applications for the new Self-Isolation Support Grant to financially assist those who are self-isolating due to coronavirus.
  • The Scottish Parliament’s Equality and Human Rights Committee is to hold an oral evidence session via Zoom with children and young people who have experience of living in care. This is part of its inquiry into the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill.
  • Holyrood’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is to examine the practices and procedures of the Scottish Parliament over the past seven months during the coronavirus pandemic. The Committee will evaluate recent changes with a view to recommending revisions to the Parliament’s Standing Orders to promote resilience in future challenging situations. The announcement can be found here.
  • Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee is to consider the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill, a Member’s Bill introduced by Pauline McNeill MSP. The Bill is designed to create a system of private rent capping in Scotland. The announcement can be found here.
  • Holyrood’s Finance and Constitution Committee recommended that the Scottish Parliament endorse the Scottish Government’s UK Withdrawal From the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill, which enables Scottish Ministers to make provision in secondary legislation for Scots law to keep pace with EU law in devolved areas.
  • On 7 October, the Scottish Parliament voted to refuse a Legislative Consent Memorandum for Westminster’s Internal Market Bill.
  • The Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee expressed concern about delays in the roll-out of the Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS) which is designed to replace paper health records with electronic records. This followed a report by the Welsh Auditor General on the same matter.
  • The Welsh Auditor General published a report on the National Fraud Initiative in Wales 2018-20, designed to tackle incidents of fraud and overpayment across Welsh public services.
  • The Welsh Auditor General published a report to set out its audit arrangements for community and town councils in Wales for 2020-21 accounts.
  • The Welsh Auditor General published an interim report on progress made against its Annual Plan 2020-21 during April to September 2020.
  • The Welsh Auditor General published a report on commercialisation in local government in Wales
  • The Welsh Auditor General published a report on the financial sustainability of local government in Wales following the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Welsh Auditor General published a report entitled ‘Better law making: the implementation challenge’ on the challenges that public bodies, local authorities, and the Welsh Audit Office face in implementing legislation passed by the Senedd.
  • The Senedd’s Finance Committee launched a consultation on the Welsh Government’s Budget 2021-22.
  • The Senedd launched an online exhibit known as Windrush Cymru to celebrate Windrush generation stories and achievements in Wales.
  • The Scottish Human Rights Commission published a report on Covid-19, social care, and human rights.

Ombuds affairs

Parliamentary affairs

  • On 21 October, the House of Commons declined to support an Opposition Day Motion to fund free school meals during school holidays until Easter 2021.
  • The Westminster Parliament considered the Internal Market Bill at Second Reading.
  • PACAC launched an inquiry on the Government’s proposed Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission. The consultation runs until 16 November and can be found here. The Committee held its first oral evidence session on 6 October with witnesses including Lord Sumption, Lord Lisvane, and Prof Meg Russell. The transcript of the evidence session is available here.
  • PACAC published its report into the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, which is available here.
  • PACAC launched an inquiry into the role and status of the Prime Minister’s Office, which runs until 4 November 2020. The announcement is available here. PACAC also has an inquiry running until 23 November on English devolution, available here.
  • The Chairs of the Environmental Audit Committee and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee wrote to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to express concern about the Government’s proposed interim regulator, the Office for Environmental Protection. This interim regulator is necessary because delays to the Government’s proposed Environment Bill mean that a statutory regulator will not be established by the end of the Brexit transition period. The exchange of letters is available here.
  • On 23 October, the House of Lords Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee launched an inquiry into the UK common frameworks programme. Common frameworks are the mechanism by which the UK and devolved administrations mutually agree some degree of regulatory consistency in policy areas where returning EU powers are within devolved competence. The inquiry is available here.
  • The Home Affairs Committee held an evidence session on 14 October with Wendy Williams on the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, particularly how the recommendations of the Review might be monitored and implemented. Williams, of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services, had previously conducted the initial Review, available here. The evidence session can be found here.
  • The Public Accounts Committee published a report in relation to immigration enforcement and argued that the Home Office appeared to formulate policy on the basis of anecdote, assumption, and prejudice rather than evidence and data. This caused damage to both the legitimate and illegal immigrant populations. The report is available here.

Discussion

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