Regulatory Reform Committee press notice

Session 2008-09 20 July 2009


The Report from the Regulatory Reform Committee, Themes and Trends in Regulatory Reform is the outcome of the Committee's latest inquiry.

The inquiry was undertaken in the wake of the financial crisis and considered the lessons of the crisis for regulators and the direction of the Government's Better Regulation agenda. The Committee took evidence from a number of bodies and concludes that:

€ Regulators need to learn from the financial crisis by developing the way they understand risk in whole systems
€ To cope with market innovation, regulators should be more agile and adaptable
€ Proportionate, risk-based regulation remains valid but must be properly implemented and enforced
€ There is scope for re-energising the better regulation agenda through greater consumer and end-user involvement

The Report therefore encourages the Government's new Regulatory Policy Committee to contribute by providing a strong voice for business and consumer interests. The Better Regulation Executive can play an important role in supporting these objectives.

The Chairman said:

"The financial crisis has taught us that regulators need a much better understanding of the bodies they regulate. Instead of ticking boxes to avoid repeating past mistakes, they need to look at whole systems and anticipate where risk will be pushed by innovations in markets. "Light-touch" regulation might still have its place, but not where huge risks end up being borne by the public purse, so we need a "right-touch" approach, and enforcement needs to be tougher where necessary. In our inquiry, we heard that there was scope for re-energising the better regulation agenda through involving consumers in decision making, and we agree. The Government's new Regulatory Policy Committee should therefore give a voice to consumers as well as business interests and we shall be watching its work with interest."

The Committee's report will be published as its Ninth Report of the 2008-09 Session at 10am on Tuesday 21 July 2009. It will be available from Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 329-I). The oral and written evidence taken by the Committee during the course of its inquiry will be published as Volume II of the Report (HC 329-II) at the same time.

The text of the report will also be available on the Committee's website from 3.30 pm on the day of publication. (

When the Report is published on 21 July, the Chairman of the Committee, Andrew Miller MP, will be available for interview on 020 7219 3580.

Notes for Editors
The terms of reference for the inquiry are listed in press notice dated 16 July.

The Regulatory Reform Committee is appointed to examine and report to the House on draft Legislative Reform Orders under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 and matters relating to regulatory reform. Its full remit is set out in S.O. No. 141.

The Members of the Committee are:

Andrew Miller , Labour , Ellesmere Port & Neston (Chairman)
Gordon Banks , Labour, Ochil and South Perthshire
Lorely Burt , Liberal Democrat, Solihull
Mr Quentin Davies , Labour, Grantham and Stamford
Mr James Gray , Conservative, North Wiltshire
John Hemming , Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley
Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Labour , Gateshead East & Washington West
Mr Stewart Jackson , Conservative , Peterborough
Judy Mallaber , Labour , Amber Valley
Dr Doug Naysmith , Labour Co/op, Bristol North West
John Penrose , Conservative, Weston-Super-Mare
Mr Jamie Reed , Labour, Copeland
Mr Anthony Steen , Conservative, Totnes
Phil Wilson , Labour, Sedgefield

For further information on the work of the Committee, contact Liz Booth, Committee Assistant (020 7219 2837); or see the Committee's website