1 In October 2022, Cabinet Circular CO (22) 3 asked Ministers and agencies to submit bids for bills seeking places on the 2023 Legislation Programme.
2 In the intervening months, the Government has undertaken a programme of reprioritisation, due to a refocus on cost of living issues, and in response to extreme weather events.
3 As a result, the decision was taken not to finalise the 2023 Legislation Programme until Ministers had the opportunity to reassess their legislative priorities.
4 Ministers and agencies are now asked to make that reassessment, and to provide an update on changes to their legislative priorities, in line with the guidance below.
5 Information on the Legislation Programme more broadly, including the priority categories for bills, can be found on the CabGuide website.
Reassessment and submission of legislation bids#
6 Ministers are asked to arrange for the timeline and priority category of each of the bids submitted in their portfolios in November 2022 to be reassessed on the basis of:
- its relevance to the Government’s current priorities;
- its relevance to the Minister’s other priorities;
- the limited amount of House time remaining before the House rises on 31 August for the election;
- its current status, including the completeness of policy approvals and drafting instructions to PCO, and how far advanced it is through the legislative process;
- how far advanced through the legislative process it is realistically likely to be when the House rises on 31 August; and
- whether, in light of these matters, the timeline submitted with the initial bid remains both accurate and realistic.
7 The results of this reassessment are requested by 10am on Monday, 17 April 2023. These should include a covering letter from the Minister, and be sent to the Legislation Coordinator in the Cabinet Office, Sam Moffett, via the email at the end of this Circular.
8 Guidance on the format of responses is available below.
Requested format for response#
9 Responses should fall into three categories: bids that were submitted in November 2022 for which no change is needed; bids submitted in November 2022 which need updating (including those that are to be withdrawn); and new bids that were not submitted in November 2022, but which are now required.
10 Where a bid submitted in November 2022 does not require a substantial update, this should be noted in the covering letter from the Minister. No further information is required.
11 Where a bid submitted in November 2022 requires updating because the timeline or requested priority category has been reassessed or the Bill is no longer to proceed, this should be noted in the covering letzter, along with a short paragraph explaining why. An updated timeline should be included in the response (unless the Bill is no longer to proceed), using the standard format for a timeline in legislation bids.
12 Where an entirely new legislation bid is required, this should be provided in the standard format for bids. Bids are required for any bills currently before the House, any bills undergoing policy work for which there was a successful 2022 Legislation Programme bid, and any policy proposal likely to result in a bill being introduced before the end of the 53rd Parliament.
13 The standard format for bids can be found on the CabGuide website and is set out in the annex to Cabinet Circular CO (22) 3. Further information on preparing and submitting bids can also be found within that Circular.
14 To assist agencies, a template for responses to this request is set out in the annex to this Circular.
Information about the Legislation Programme#
15 Further information about the Legislation Programme is available in Cabinet Circular CO (22) 3, on the CabGuide website, and in the Cabinet Manual.
16 The original bids, along with any reassessments, will be summarised for the Cabinet Legislation Committee (LEG) to consider, and for further assessment of priorities. The draft Legislation Programme agreed by LEG will be confirmed by Cabinet.
Secretary of the Cabinet
Sam Moffett, Legislation Coordinator, Cabinet Office
Ph: 912 0530
Office of the Minister of Examples
Response to request for reassessment of bids for the 2023 Legislation Programme#
In November 2022, 4 bids were submitted from the Examples portfolio. I have received advice from officials on each of these, and my office has reassessed each in light of the Government’s current priorities, and my own. The results of this reassessment are below, including a new bid, for the 123 Bill.
A bid was submitted for the AB Bill seeking a priority category of 3 (to be passed if possible before the 2023 general election). No change to this priority category is required, and the bill is still progressing according to the submitted timeline.
A bid was submitted for the CD Bill seeking a priority category of 4 (to be referred to a select committee before the 2023 general election). I am now seeking a priority category of 5 (instructions to be provided to PCO before the 2023 general election) for this bill. A series of complex policy issues have arisen as a result of sector consultation on the proposed bill, and further policy work and instructions to PCO will be necessary to address these. The bill does not now need to be introduced before the 2023 general election. An updated timeline for this work is attached to this letter.
A bid was submitted for the EF Bill seeking a priority category of 5 (instructions to be provided to PCO before the 2023 general election). I am now seeking a priority category of 7 (not to proceed). In February 2023, Cabinet agreed that this piece of work should not progress, as part of wider reprioritisation [CAB-23-MIN-12345]. No updated timeline is required, as the bill is not to proceed.
A bid was submitted for the GH bill seeking a priority category of 3 (to be passed if possible before the 2023 general election). I am now seeking a priority category of 6 (on hold) for this bill. I have instructed officials to consult on whether this legislation is still necessary as a standalone item, or whether key amendments could be included in another bill. An updated timeline indicating when I expect to make decisions on the future of this bill is attached.
I attach a new bid, for the 123 Bill, which is required as part of the response to Cyclone Gabrielle. Further information is available within the enclosed bid.
Hon Jane Jones
Minister of Examples