Headlines: April 28th, 1999

Partnership working across public bodies forms a key element in the Modernising government programme and the principle is being further developed in relations with industry and commerce. Following the Better Regulation Task Force report, Cabinet Office Minister Jack Cunningham has announced sweeping changes to make regulation more business friendly. The move will end the ‘Rolls Royce’ regulatory systems of the past and redress any imbalance between the need for protection of citizens and the demands on businesses.

The new style of regulation will be implemented through a culture change, rather than by tinkering with rules and procedures. The Centre for Management and Policy Studies, which is due to be set up on 1 June 1999, will have responsibility for changing the culture through training. The Regulation Unit will have the task of steering the change and will be given a different focus. It will be re-named the Regulatory Impact Unit and will open its doors to secondees from industry and commerce. It will work in partnership with the DTI’s Small Business Service to tackle the pressures facing small businesses. Changes will come into effect on 1 May.