25 September 2013
Today, a piece of Assembly legislation will be considered at Report Stage – the first time the procedure has been used at the Assembly.
What is Report Stage?
Assembly legislation must usually proceed through a four-stage process before being passed. Broadly speaking, at Stage 1, a committee considers the general principles of a Bill; at Stage 2, a committee considers amendments to the Bill (line-by-line scrutiny); at Stage 3, the Assembly as a whole considers further amendments in Plenary; and Stage 4 is the final vote in Plenary to approve the definitive text of the Bill. In practice, Stage 4 usually follows immediately after Stage 3. However, Report Stage is an optional additional step in the process, which is a new procedural feature introduced at the beginning of the fourth Assembly. It comes between Stages 3 and 4, and it gives the Assembly the flexibility to revisit a piece of legislation if it so wishes, and to consider additional amendments to make further adjustments to the Bill, particularly if major changes were agreed at Stages 2 and 3.
Which Bill is Report Stage being used for?
On 25 September, the Assembly will consider amendments to Peter Black AM’s private Member’s Bill, the Mobile Homes (Wales) Bill. The Bill aims to address certain concerns relating to mobile home occupation by updating the current England-and-Wales legal framework and by modernising the licensing regime.
The Bill’s Stage 3 proceedings were held on 10 July, which involved 199 amendments being considered, and substantial changes have been made to the Bill since its introduction. As a result, at the end of Stage 3 proceedings, the Member in charge proposed, and the Assembly agreed, that the Bill should be considered further at Report Stage rather than go straight to Stage 4.
Report Stage started the next day (11 July), which enabled Members to reconsider the Bill and to table any further amendments over the summer recess, before the Report Stage debate on 25 September.
Background information about the Bill (as introduced) is available in the Bill summary. For more in-depth information about the changes made to the Bill at Stages 2 and 3, see the Stage 2 summary and Stage 3 summary.
Article written by Siân Eleri Richards.