Headlines: July 6th, 1998

Local councils and government departments have been urged to sign up to a deal that should mean a better experience of officialdom for Britain’s businesses.

Fifty local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive have already adopted a new code of practice setting out what businesses and others who have to comply with regulations can expect from inspectors.

Better Regulation Minister, Peter Kilfoyle, said: ” I am very pleased that 50 councils have already signed up. Most businesses want to comply with the law, and inspectors working in line with the Concordat help them to do so.

“The time and money saved by the enforcers can then be put into cracking down on the cowboy culprits who put themselves and others at risk.”

Mr Kilfoyle added that he also wanted central government agencies to follow the example of the Health and Safety Executive by also signing up.

The Enforcement Concordat guidelines include more openness in dealing with business, courtesy, consistency of decisions and efficiency from enforcers.

Enforcers are also encouraged to distinguish best practice advice from legal requirements, and where possible to give businesses a chance to discuss and remedy problems before action is taken.