RRC PN (2004-05) 06

PN 2004-05 (06)                                            31 January 2005



The Government must improve its efforts to remove burdensome regulations says a report by the Regulatory Reform Committee.

Chairman Peter Pike said "The removal of redundant regulations must  be a core priority for Departments. The RRO process should be promoted as an effective way of achieving this objective. "

The report assesses the Government's suggestions for removing barriers to the use of regulatory reform orders [RROs] and concludes that the Government should publish its promised full review of the working of the Regulatory Reform Act before asking Parliament to implement any changes.

Peter Pike said: "Since the passage of the 2001 Regulatory Reform Act, 20 regulatory reform orders have been made, whereas the Government's target was 60 by 2005. The Government should fulfill its promise to conduct a proper review into the workings of the 2001 Act. We have made some imaginative suggestions on streamlining the procedures both for Law Commission Bills and for streamlining  changes to company law, which the review team should take into account. "

The report (Operation of the 2001 Regulatory Reform Act) will be published at 2.00 pm on Monday 31 January.

Notes for Editors

The Members of the Committee are:Mr Peter Pike (Labour, Burnley) (Chairman), Mr Russell Brown (Labour, Dumfries), Brian Cotter (Liberal Democrat, Weston-Super-Mare), Mr Jeffrey M. Donaldson (Democratic Unionist, Lagan Valley), Mr Dai Havard (Labour, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Mr Mark Lazarowicz (Labour, Edinburgh North and Leith, Andy King (Labour, Rugby and Kenilworth), Mr Andrew Love (Labour/Co-op, Edmonton, Mr John MacDougall (Labour, Central Fife), Chris Mole (Labour, Ipswich), Mr Denis Murphy (Labour, Wansbeck), Dr Doug Naysmith (Labour/Co-op, Bristol North West), Mr Archie Norman (Conservative, Tunbridge Wells), Andrew Rosindell (Conservative, Romford), Mr Anthony Steen (Conservative, Totnes), Brian White (Labour, Milton Keynes North East)

1. Regulatory reform orders (RROs) made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 are able to reduce or remove burdens in primary legislation without the need for an amending Bill. The Government's proposals for RROs are subject to scrutiny by committees of both Houses of Parliament.

2.The Regulatory Reform Committee has the task of examining and reporting to the House on every document containing proposals laid before the House under section 6 of the Regulatory Reform Act and every draft order proposed to be made under section 1 of that Act. The Committee also oversees the operation of the regulatory reform procedure.

3. Since the passage of the Regulatory Reform Act, 20 regulatory reform orders have been made, and a proposal for a major reform of fire safety has been approved in principle by the Committee.  The Committee recently rejected a proposal to use an RRO to reform the law on civil registration of births and marriages, on the grounds that such an important issue should go through the normal Bill process.Copies of all proposals and draft Orders are available on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/rra/rro/proposals.asp

For further information on the work of the Committee, contact Mick Hillyard, Clerk of the Committee (020 7219 2830);  or see the Committee's website www.parliament.uk/regrefcom

The Report will be published as its First Special Report of the current Session.

It will be available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 273).