Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 No 63
Division 7 Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund
6.34 Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund
(1) There is to be established by this Act a fund called the Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund.(2) The following amounts are to be paid into the Fund, subject to any requirements specified in the regulations—(a) amounts required to be paid into the Fund in respect of the transfer or retirement of a biodiversity credit (other than amounts paid under Division 6 as an alternative to the retirement of biodiversity credits),(b) any amount paid out of the Fund to the owner of a biodiversity stewardship site that is repaid by or recovered from the owner,(c) the proceeds of investment of money in the Fund,(d) any other money appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the Fund or required by this or any other Act or law to be paid into the Fund,(e) any amounts standing to the credit of the Biobanking Trust Fund on the repeal of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 by this Act.(3) The following may be paid out of the Fund, subject to any requirements specified in the regulations—(a) such amounts as the Minister directs to be paid from the Fund to an owner of a biodiversity stewardship site in respect of management actions carried out or to be carried out in accordance with a biodiversity stewardship agreement,(b) such amounts as the Minister directs to be paid from the Fund to the Fund Manager, in payment of the remuneration of the Fund Manager,(c) any amounts payable by the Fund Manager in discharging the liabilities incurred by the Fund Manager in the exercise of its functions,(d) such amounts as are authorised to be paid out of the Fund by the regulations,(e) such other amounts as are authorised to be paid out of the Fund by this or any other Act or law.(4) The amounts payable under subsection (3)(a) include, but are not limited to, the following—(a) any costs associated with project-managing the site,(b) labour and capital costs incurred in connection with the management actions required under the agreement (including the costs of raw materials and equipment),(c) costs associated with complying with reporting or audit requirements under the biodiversity offsets scheme,(d) any rates, taxes or charges levied on the site or the management actions required under the agreement,(e) any fees payable by the site owner under the biodiversity offsets scheme (other than amounts payable to the Fund on a first transfer of biodiversity credits or retirement of the credits before first transfer).(5) The regulations may make provision for the winding up of the Fund.
6.35 Fund Manager
(1) The Biodiversity Conservation Trust is (subject to this section) the Fund Manager in respect of the Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund.(2) The Minister may appoint a public authority, or other person or body, as the Fund Manager instead of the Trust. The appointment takes effect on the date notified by the Minister in the Gazette and may be revoked by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.(3) The Fund Manager (unless it is a public authority so appointed) is not, and does not represent, the Crown.
6.36 Management and control of Fund
(1) The Fund Manager is to manage and control the Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund in accordance with this Act and the regulations.(2) The Fund Manager—(a) is to act as trustee of money in the Fund, and(b) is to invest the money in the Fund not immediately required for the purposes for which it is to be applied in the same way as trustees may invest trust funds, subject to any requirements specified in the regulations, and(c) is to make payments from the Fund as authorised by this Act and the regulations, and(d) has such other functions as are conferred on the Fund Manager by this Act or the regulations, and(e) may do all things necessary or convenient to be done in connection with the exercise of its functions.(3) The regulations may make further provision with respect to the Fund and its management and control.
6.37 Reporting and other obligations of Fund Manager
(1) As soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, the Fund Manager is to prepare and deliver to the Minister an annual report on its management of the Biodiversity Stewardship Payments Fund during the financial year ending on that date.(2) The annual report must include copies of the financial statements and accounts of the Fund Manager for the financial year to which the report relates and an auditor’s report on those statements and accounts prepared by an auditor approved by the Minister.(3) If the regulations so require, the Fund Manager is, as soon as practicable after 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year, to prepare and deliver to the Minister a quarterly report that summarises the financial position of the Fund and the performance of investments of money vested in the Fund during the immediately preceding 3 month period.(4) The Minister is to cause a copy of each annual and quarterly report to be published on a government website maintained by the Environment Agency Head as soon as practicable after it is delivered to the Minister. The Minister is to cause a copy of each annual report to be tabled in each House of Parliament.(5) The Fund Manager must take out and maintain a policy of indemnity insurance, in respect of the exercise of its functions as Fund Manager, that complies with any requirements specified by the Minister by notice in writing to the Fund Manager.(6) The regulations may vary the reporting obligations of the Fund Manager under this section (including in connection with any reporting obligations of the Biodiversity Conservation Trust under Part 10), and for that purpose consequentially amend this section.