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Business invited to help reform enforcement of regulation
by Susie Hughes at 15:09 10/03/14 (News on Business)
Trade associations are being urged to make the case to reform specific regulatory burdens on business - and the Government is offering finance to help them prepare their evidence.
The Government is calling on business groups to help to run an initiative that puts driving the reform of regulatory enforcement in the hands of business.

Business Focus on Enforcement will allow industry groups such as trade associations to challenge problems like duplicated paperwork, inconsistent advice or unhelpful guidance and present the case for change directly to regulators and Ministers - who will be required to respond to the evidence industry presents.

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To ensure that lack of resources does not prevent any business group with a good case from applying, groups will have the opportunity to apply for a Government grant of up to £4,000 per project, to cover up to half the cost to a business group of running the six-week reviews. Review teams will be supported throughout the process by government officials.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “We want regulators to become part of our push for growth by helping law-abiding firms meet their obligations quickly and efficiently. Putting reputable private sector experts in the driving seat to identify where reform is needed will help us achieve improvements for business without compromising standards."

Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is acting as a champion and advocate for the programme. He said: "All good businesses understand the added value of well-thought out regulation, and experience the frustrations of badly implemented regulation and poor guidance.

“Giving businesses a greater role in reviewing the impact on them of the way regulation is enforced is a significant change for the better. I’ll be encouraging business groups from all sectors to seize this opportunity to eliminate the bureaucracy, duplication and lack of clarity that still impedes growth.”

Greater role
The current Focus on Enforcement initiative, launched in 2012, has successfully challenged poor implementation and enforcement of regulation and secured valuable reforms for business in areas including chemicals, ports and coastal development, fire safety and small food manufacturers - but is entirely run by civil servants. Business Focus on Enforcement will test whether better results and reforms can be gained from giving industry a far greater role in identifying issues and driving reform in their sectors.

For more information about the competitive bidding process and to access the bid documentation, see BIS website.

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