Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Better Regulation, Better Regulators

Better Regulation, Better Regulators

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 23 July 2009

The Better Regulation Executive (BRE), part of the Department for Business, today published four new reports, as part of their ongoing examination of national regulators, on the Insolvency Service, Human Tissue Authority, Fish Health Inspectorate and Natural England.

The Hampton Implementation Reviews looked at the work of each regulator against the principles of better regulation set out by Philip Hampton in 2005. Each review found that the regulators were making progress implementing these principles but a range of issues still needed to be addressed in each case in order to meet fully the criteria set out by Hampton. Key areas for improvement by the regulators have been highlighted, as well as the improvements they have already made.

The reviews, carried out by teams drawn from regulatory staff and staff from the Department for Business, are part of a wider assessment of national regulators being conducted by the BRE started in 2007. The review teams looked at the way regulators worked with businesses, as well as seeking feedback from the companies and other organisations they deal with. Other national regulators will undergo similar scrutiny

Notes to Editors

1. The four new reports can be found at www.berr.gov.uk/bre/

2. The Hampton Implementation Review process, that will examine a total of 31 national regulators, follow two independent reports by Sir Philip Hampton and Professor Richard Macrory on making inspection and enforcement of regulation more effective.

3. Hampton and Macrory recommended an end to the one size fits all approach to regulation that can see unnecessary inspections carried out, while necessary ones are not. Instead, regulators should concentrate their efforts on businesses that do not follow the law and ease the burden they put on those who do. They also recommended regulators give better advice on how to follow the rules and end to the duplication of information businesses have to give to regulators.

4. Review teams were drawn from the Better Regulation Executive within the Department for Business, as well as experienced staff from peer regulators. The Better Regulation Executive, part of the Department for Business, works across government to reduce and remove unnecessary regulation for the public, private and voluntary sectors.

5. The Hampton Review in 2005 - led by Sir Philip Hampton - recommended regulators should take a risk-based approach to enforcement and information gathering. Among its findings were that regulators should carry out inspections only when needed and avoid unnecessary form-filling and duplication of effort or information.

6. In 2006 Professor Richard Macrory's review of penalties for failure to comply with regulatory obligations recommended that regulators should focus on outcomes, rather than action. He recommended that sanctions should be aimed at changing the behaviour of non-compliant businesses and eliminating any financial gain from non-compliance. It also found that regulators should be transparent in the way they determine administrative penalties.

7. Examples of how individuals and businesses are benefiting from changes to regulation can be found on http://www.betterregulation.gov.uk . The site also invites suggestions for what else can be done to reduce red tape.

Contacts:

BIS Press Office
NDS.BIS@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Ian Thomson
Phone: 020 7215 5965
Ian.Thomson@berr.gsi.gov.uk