Public bodies orders are a type of statutory instrument. Under the Public Bodies Act 2011, ministers can use public bodies orders to abolish, merge or change the constitutional or funding arrangements of certain public bodies. The Act sets out tests that must be met: for example, whether the change improves accountability.
The minister formally presents (‘lays’) a draft order and explanatory document. The House of Commons and House of Lords have 30-days to consider it. The orders are usually considered by the relevant select committee in the House of Commons and the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee in the House of Lords.
If the Committees clear the public bodies order, a motion to approve the draft order can be moved 40 days after it was laid.
Alternatively, either House or either Committee can decide that an enhanced affirmative procedure should apply. The enhanced procedure increases the scrutiny period by a further 30-days (making 60 days in total), and allows either House or either Committee to make recommendations to the minister, who must consider them. After 60 days, a motion to approve the draft order can be moved or the minister can choose to amend the draft order.
The Public Bodies (Abolition of the Advisory Committees on Pesticides) Order 2015 is an example of a public bodies order.