BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2007/097)
issued by The Government News Network on 9 November 2007
Secretary of State for Business today brought forward measures to
cut red tape and save business millions of pounds in the
Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill.
Many businesses are currently losing out because local authority
regulators are enforcing the law differently across the country.
The Bill would give powers to a single national body to provide
consistent advice. It will also ensure regulators do not impose
Rogue businesses also face a crackdown with regulators being
given new powers to tackle companies who seek to benefit by
flouting the law.
It is estimated that these measures could save business over £100
million per year.
John Hutton said:
"This is about saving businesses millions by cutting red
tape and delivering better regulation.
"To help us achieve this, we will take powers to stop
regulators from imposing burdens that aren't necessary.
"But we will toughen the sanctions for the companies who
undercut honest businesses or endanger or rip-off their customers
by flouting the rules. We will come down hard on the rogues by
giving all regulators the power to hit them where it hurts and
impose sanctions that leave them out of pocket or out of business."
The measures include:
* Ensuring both national and local
regulators have access to new administrative sanctions, such as
monetary penalties and stop notices.
* Ensuring both national and local regulators do not impose or
maintain unnecessary burdens on those they regulate.
* Setting up the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) to be the
expert source of advice for central Government on the way local
authorities regulate. It will settle disputes between local
regulators and ensure more consistency for businesses.
An Oxfordshire man was fined £30,000 for
dumping 184 drums of toxic waste, but he had been paid £58,000 for
the disposal of the material. The waste authorities then spent
£167,000 incinerating the waste properly.
A small waste
disposal company was fined £25,000 for operating without a
license, but the company saved £250,000 by operating illegally
over a 2-year period.
A construction company was prosecuted
following an incident that resulted in two employees being trapped
in an unsupported excavation whilst laying pipes. Despite the site
engineer being aware of the risks, no attempts were made to stop
the work. This could have proved fatal. The court fined the
A manufacturer who has sites in different
areas of the country cleared a new product line with their primary
authority (the local authority appointed their main regulator).
They then dispatched the product to the retailer. Despite the
Primary Authority's advice, a different local authority
believed the product violated food imitation regulations and
threatened the store with prosecution. The manufacturing business
claims this incident cost them £25,000 in wasted stock.
There was extensive consultation with businesses on the
ground-breaking plans in May. The Regulatory Enforcement and
Sanctions Bill is the latest step in the Government's Better
Regulation agenda aimed at eliminating obsolete and inefficient
regulation, achieving user-friendly and effective new regulation
and tackling inefficiencies in the way regulations are delivered.
This includes a commitment to cut the cost to business of
administering regulation by a quarter by 2010.
Businesses served with an alternative sanction will have a right
of appeal to an independent tribunal. The tribunal, like the
criminal court, will be able to award costs.
Notes to Editors:
1. The bill is delivering key recommendations of the Macrory review.
2. A draft regulatory enforcement bill went to consultation
earlier this year.
3. The Better Regulation Executive is taking forward the
Government's better regulation agenda.
4. The Bill introduced before Parliament can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/pabills/200708/regulatory_enforcement_and_sanctions.htm
Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory
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