HB 13: Statutory Instrument (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, 2015

Download Bill Bill Analysis Download Bill Analysis
infograph

Sponsor:

Hon. Abonta Uzoma Nkem

Bill Status: Passed!

  • First Reading: 04/08/2015
  • Second Reading: 08/10/2105
  • Committee Referred To: Committee on Rules and Business and Justice
  • Consolidated with:
  • Date Reported out of Committee:
  • Third Reading:31/10/2017

Bill Analysis:

SHORT TITLE

Statutory Instrument (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, 2015

OBJECTIVE OF THE BILL

The objective of the Bill is to

  • Make it mandatory for the National Assembly to scrutinize and approve statutory instrument before it becomes enforceable

NUMBER OF CLAUSES

The Bill has 9 Clauses including citation and interpretation.

APPLICATION

The Bill applies notwithstanding any contrary provision in any other law, where an Act of the National Assembly or power on any matter within the legislative competence of the National Assembly is conferred on a person to make statutory instrument

GENERAL PROVISIONS OF THE BILL

1. Procedure of Scrutiny: -

A statutory instrument made by a person under a power conferred by an Act of the National Assembly shall be –

  • Laid before both Houses of the National Assembly;
  • Published in the official Gazette or the National Assembly Journal;
  • In force at the expiration of 21 sitting days after being so laid unless National Assembly, before the expiration of the 21 days, invalidates the instrument by a simple resolution (Clause 2(1))

Where a statutory instrument provides or prescribes fee or salary or any pecuniary charge, which is to be borne by a member of the public, the draft form of the instrument and a copy of a written approval of the approving authority shall be laid before both Houses of the National Assembly.

2. Non-compliance with the provisions of this Bill (when it becomes law):

  • Non-compliance with the provisions of this Bill (when it becomes law) shall invalidate any statutory instrument;
  • Failure to observe a requirement under this Bill with regards to publication of a statutory instrument or laying before the National Assembly shall invalidate an instrument. However, the National Assembly may resolve by a vote of two-thirds majority of each House that an instrument in respect of which requirement has not been observed shall come into operation or shall be deemed to come into operation on a specified date.

3.   Commencement of a Statutory Instrument: -

According to Clause 4, a statutory instrument shall come into operation on the date specified in that behalf in the instrument or if not specified, on a date –

  • Of the publication in the official Gazette or National Assembly Journal;
  • On which the instrument is made

A statutory instrument may provide that it shall come into operation on a date earlier than the coming into operation of the enactment under which it is made. The instrument, whether or not it is previously published, shall not come into operation before the date on which the said enactment comes into operation.

Where a statutory instrument is made after the passing of an enactment, but before the coming into operation of that enactment under which it is made, the statutory instrument shall not come into operation whether or not it is previously published, before the date on which the enactment comes into operation.

4.   Amendment and Revocation: -

Where an Act confers power to make a statutory instrument, the Act shall unless the context otherwise requires, be deemed also to confer power exercisable by the said authority, and in the like manner, to amend or revoke the instrument.

Where a statutory instrument is amended by an Act or further statutory instrument, the Attorney General may authorize the reprinting of the whole or a part to give effect to the amendments. When an authority publishes the instrument, the reprinted part shall constitute evidence of the amended provisions.

5.   Power to Make Instruments: -

The Attorney General may by legislative instrument recommend the amendment of the provisions of an Act or confer power to make statutory instruments, being an Act passed before the coming into operation of this Clause (when this Bill becomes law), so as to bring those provisions into conformity with this Bill (when it becomes law), or otherwise for the purposes of this Bill (when it becomes law).

The Attorney General may also make other provisions as appears expedient for the purposes of this Bill (when it becomes law). Any instrument made under this provision (when the Bill becomes law) shall be subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

6.   Penalty for Non-Compliance: -

A person who contravenes any provision of this Bill (when it becomes law) is liable to gross misconduct in service and on the recommendation of both Houses of the National Assembly, a disciplinary action shall be commenced according to the rule of service, which is applicable.

Nothing in this Bill shall preclude a person undergoing disciplinary action from being prosecuted in a Court of Law (Clause 5(2)). Unless a public officer shows reasonable cause for his action sufficient for a pardon, s/he shall be personally liable.

CONCLUDING ISSUES OF THE BILL

This Bill seeks to make it mandatory for statutory instruments to be scrutinized and approved by the National Assembly before it becomes enforceable. The Bill also stipulates that except the Constitution provides the contrary, where a person is conferred with the power to make statutory instruments by an Act of the National Assembly, the provisions of this Bill (when it becomes law) shall apply.

Though the National Assembly has the constitutional powers to make laws and perform other functions, subjecting both Houses to the duties of scrutinizing and approving every statutory instrument before it becomes enforceable may be daunting, given the enormous task already being performed by them. Furthermore, the process of getting both Houses to approve every instrument may be time wasting and delay implementation of that instrument.

placbillstrack 2017