The Better Regulation Executive: making regulation work for everyone
The Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions draft Bill (RES Bill) is comprised of two distinct but linked parts.
Part 1 of the Bill will establish the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) as a statutory corporation and enables LBRO's transition from its status as a private company. The overall objective of the statutory LBRO will be to secure more effective and less burdensome approaches to the way in which regulations are enforced by local authorities. Its remit will initially apply to trading standards and environmental health services, including alcohol licensing, with the potential to extend this scope to other services in the future. LBRO appointed its first chair, Clive Grace, in April. He will head an independent Board. We have also announced the appointments to the Board and Chief Executive, effective from September 2007.
Part 2 of the Bill incorporates proposals that implement four recommendations from the Macrory Review, Regulatory Justice: Making Sanctions Effective, to make available to regulators an extended, more flexible and modern sanctioning toolkit that is better able to meet their needs in the Hampton world. The proposals for new enforcement powers will allow regulators to deal with non–compliance in a proportionate way – both with those businesses who need more support in their efforts to comply with the law, and with those who deliberately seek to gain an advantage by disregarding it.
The RES Bill is a further element of the Government's commitment to implement the Hampton agenda. The 2005 Hampton Review, Reducing administrative burdens effective inspection and enforcement, highlighted the importance of proportionate and risk–based approaches to enforcing regulations, and the associated benefits in delivering better outcomes on the ground. In particular, Hampton found that while there is much good practice in UK regulation, there remained a lack of effective priority setting by central government, lack of national coordination between government departments and local regulators and lack of consistency in risk assessment and enforcement amongst local authorities. Hampton also found that regulatory penalty regimes are often cumbersome and ineffective. The RES Bill seeks to advance Hampton's vision of a regulatory system, at both a national and local level, that is risk–based, consistent, proportionate and effective.
The RES Bill was published for consultation on 15 May 2007. The consultation closes on 15 August 2007.