15 August 2014
Changes have been pushed through that will give businesses a greater say on how regulations, which affect them and their sector, are enforced.
Business Minister Matthew Hancock has approved bids by businesses bodies to review regulation in their sectors.
At this stage, the business groups will collect evidence and present it directly to ministers and regulators.
In response to each review’s findings, departments and regulators will propose how they will address the issues identified, lightening needless burdens without weakening essential controls.
Two trade bodies have been selected to run reviews under this initiative named Business Focus on Enforcement – the Fresh Produce Consortium and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
After a period of evidence gathering which will run until autumn 2014, the Fresh Produce Consortium and NFU will report their findings direct to ministers and regulators.
The Fresh Produce Consortium will investigate reports of high or inconsistent charges at ports on imports of perishable produce; inconsistency in service levels and delays; and emerging evidence that UK businesses are choosing to present shipments for import clearance at other points of entry in the EU because they can obtain a cheaper, more efficient service overseas.
The NFU will gather evidence from stakeholders including farmers to investigate claims of reported duplications, overlaps and inconsistencies in visits to livestock farms by national and local regulators. Starting with farmers’ own experiences, it will seek evidence of, for example, processes and equipment checked, and data requested during local authority visits.
Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: ‘We are changing the way Whitehall works, listening directly to business to help them grow, create prosperity and jobs. Businesses will now have the power to lead the reform of counterproductive, time consuming or bureaucratic enforcement of regulation that can get in the way of growth.‘Putting reputable private sector experts in the driving seat will help us improve the way regulation is enforced without compromising standards. It is all part of our unambiguously pro-business agenda to increase the financial security of the British people.’