Headlines: May 16th, 2007



A package of measures to save firms some 64 millions pounds in unnecessary compliance costs and to give better support to local regulators has been announced by the Cabinet Office. An estimated 80 per cent of all business inspections are carried out by council staff responsible for enforcing environmental health, trading standards and alcohol and gambling licensing legislation.

The package is designed to overcome a lack of effective priority setting by central government, lack of national co-ordination between Government departments and local regulators and lack of consistency in risk assessment and enforcement between local authorities.

A draft Bill published today for consultation will pave the way for a more flexible toolkit of enforcement powers, enabling local regulators to tackle non-compliance in a proportionate and targeted way. There will be a new statutory code of practice for regulators encouraging them to take a proportionate and risk-based approach to the enforcement of regulation. The Code aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of regulators, whilst increasing accountability and transparency.

A new Local Better Regulation Office is being set up and it will be fully operational by the Autumn. The LBRO should help to drive down costs for retailers, consumers, local government and local taxpayers. By providing a risk based approach to enforcement and better co-ordination between local authorities who deal with national businesses, it will improve efficiency and cut costs without reducing standards.