Headlines: April 22nd, 1999

The Better Regulation Task Force has called for more attention to be paid to how regulations will be enforced. In its latest Review it says that the current processes for formulating regulation pay little or no attention to the concerns, views and practical experience of those given the task of enforcing them. The Review makes it clear that for regulation to succeed both those affected by it, as well as those who enforce it must understand what is required. There must be an end to gobbledegook because businesses do not have the staff or expertise to decipher official or legal jargon.

A similar plea for front line involvement in policy making was made recently by Michael Bichard, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education and Employment, in his article ‘Modernizing the Policy Process – see Publicnet Features. He said: “The people in front-line benefits offices, prisons and tax districts need to have a greater say in the way in which we develop policy”.