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■ Defra's consultation on a Legislative Reform Order to change the profession's disciplinary machinery
■ New Code of Professional Conduct
■ Structure of an Audit and Risk Committee
■ Facebook, Twitter and the Royal College's social media strategy
These were among matters discussed by the RCVS Council at its meeting on March 1. The RCVS President, Jerry Davies, chaired the meeting, which was held at Belgravia House, London SW1P.
HAVING gone to the Government asking for changes to the Veterinary Surgeons Act, the RCVS now had an obligation to respond to Defra's proposal for a Legislative Reform Order (LRO), said Peter Jinman, vice-president, introducing a paper on the subject.
The LRO was intended to achieve a clear aim, he said, namely, to require that the Preliminary Investigation Committee and Disciplinary Committee were made up of veterinary surgeons and lay members who were not members of the RCVS Council (see VR, January 21, 2012, vol 170, pp 62, 63).
He urged the Council to back the changes being proposed. However, he pointed out, the LRO was ‘not a Christmas tree’ and it was not possible to keep adding things to it or removing things from it. An LRO was intended to allow limited changes to be made to a piece of legislation, but it could not be used to make fundamental changes to the underlying Act.
Defra's ministers supported the changes but the timing and content of a draft Order to implement them lay with Parliament, he said. Once the LRO was definitely in the pipeline, the Council would have to explore what changes would be needed to the RCVS's byelaws in order to implement it. He added that there would be a second round of consultation once Defra drew up the draft Order to implement the changes. …