Group chatting on bridge with sheep.

Battle for better regulation continues with parliamentary inquiry

27 May 2014

In an apparent continuation of the Government's push to make regulators and regulation more cost-effective and business-centric, the Regulatory Reform Committee, a House of Commons select committee controlled by the Government, has announced an inquiry into the Government's Better Regulation framework.

The framework is championed by the Better Regulation Executive which is part of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills – the very department which I recently lauded for publishing the Regulators' Code (which seemed designed by the Government to bring the FCA and PRA to heel).

Although the membership of the Regulatory Reform Committee is mixed, it is controlled by the Government through the Conservative Chair, the member for Rochford and Southend East, James Duddridge MP. Mr Duddridge is both a former Government Whip and a former banker. With a former member of the financial services industry in charge it seems the inquiry is designed to ensure that the Better Regulation framework is indeed meeting the Government's target of reducing the weight of regulation on business.

Encouragingly, the terms of the inquiry include a review of the "costs and benefits of regulation for businesses" and the "extent of consultation by policy makers with businesses, organisations and individuals when formulating regulations." It will also consider the perennial bugbear of regulated businesses: the difficulty of remaining abreast of constantly changing regulation ("[a]wareness of regulatory requirements in order to ensure compliance").

The closing date for submitting evidence for consideration by the Committee is less than a month away on Friday 13 June. We would encourage those who approve of the work of the Better Regulation Executive to submit evidence in its support and any ideas they have for further improvements.