Legislation / Legal
HO: Changes to the family visit visa route will save taxpayers more than £100m over the next decade and speed up the system for genuine applicants, the Immigration Minister said recently. From July 2013, the family visit visa will no longer retain the full right of appeal, bringing the route into line with all other visit visa categories.
ICO: The Information Commissioner’s Office has announced that 3 public authorities will be monitored this quarter over concerns about the timeliness of their responses to freedom of information (FOI) requests.
Under the FOI Act a public authority must respond to an FOI request within 20 working days. The Metropolitan Police Service, the London Borough of Barnet and Manchester City Council are being monitored after the ICO received a significant number of complaints about each authorities’ failure to respond to requests within the statutory time limit.
WAG: A new law to strengthen & improve the accountability arrangements of Wales’s public audit service has been granted Royal Assent by Her Majesty the Queen. The Public Audit (Wales) Act 2013 will provide for more open & effective governance of the Auditor General for Wales (AGW) while protecting the AGW’s independence from the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales.
ScotGov: Fine enforcement officers in Scotland’s courts are to be granted access to a wealth of information held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other Whitehall Departments to help them crackdown on fine defaulters.
MoJ: The latest stage of a series of reforms to turn the tide on the growing compensation culture has taken effect. From 1 May 2013 the fees lawyers can make from processing basic, uncontested claims for compensation for minor injuries suffered in road accidents is reduced by more than half – from £1,200 to £500.
The change will:
* make no difference to the amount of compensation victims will receive for genuine claims
* reduce the unnecessary additional bills faced by insurers
* enable insurers to pass on savings to their customers