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Cabinet Office and CIC

Posted: 14th February 2005

CIC involvement with the Cabinet Office’s Regulatory Impact Unit of the Business Regulation Team, over the last two years, is reflected in the BRT ‘End of Year Report 2004’.

There is also mention of follow up work for our sector in their ‘Scoping Report 2005’. An extract from the End of year Report and the Summary of the Scoping Report are below with links to the complete documents.

Regulatory Impact Unit, Business Regulation Team
End of Year Report 2004
Year in Review
By the Head of the Team, Ian Morfett
I am pleased to present the Business Regulation Team’s (BRT) annual report which sets out the results of our 2004 work programme. This is the third annual report covering the work of the Team, and my first since taking over as the Head of the Team in May 2004.

The key elements of the 2004 programme were pre-set by the Chancellor in his 2003 Budget Statement. In it, he asked us to look at existing regulatory issues in the construction, environmental services and transport sectors. We also continued to work with relevant Government Departments and Agencies on progressing some issues arising from our 2002 and 2003 programmes, as well as taking up a number of ad hoc issues which were brought to our attention during the year.
The BRT has sought to address those inappropriate, disproportionate, or poorly focused regulatory issues that impose burdens on UK businesses. Overall, the Team has had a particularly successful year in addressing many of these regulatory issues, and has established good working relationships with all stakeholders from both the Government and the private sector.

Industry/Government forums
An important aspect of our work over the past year has been the establishment of industry/Government groups on policy and regulation, along the lines of the VIPER (Vehicle Industry Policy and European Regulation) industry/Government group already in operation in the automotive sector. Groups have now been established for the construction, retail and chemicals sectors, with a group proposed for the food sector.

Payment practices and the adjudication process. Amendments to the Construction Act, to be issued for consultation, are expected to reduce problems with late payments, and improve the adjudication process, for construction businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Improving industry/Government relations. A new industry/Government group – ‘CIPER’ – has significantly improved relations between the construction industry and Government on regulatory matters.
Framework of architectural regulation. Proposals are being developed to improve the framework of architectural regulation, mainly by reducing overlap.

Environmental Services
Brownfield remediation – waste licensing. Our joint industry/Government task force has made good progress towards developing a simplified waste licensing system to remove the immediate obstacles to the brownfield development industry.
Brownfield remediation – soil guideline values. A BRT instigated forum, including industry and Government representatives, will help Government complete the production of soil guideline values, which are essential to brownfield remediation, and will improve training, guidance and policy in this area.

Hydropower development. Regional joint industry/Government working groups are tackling regulatory concerns that otherwise hamper hydropower development.
Hydrocarbon duty on alternative fuels. A duty exemption on biofuels enabled the development of a company using innovative technology to burn unmodified tallow and recycled vegetable oil in standard diesel engines to generate renewable energy and heat.
Oleochemicals. Our work has prompted a review of the financial incentives and other benefits for the use of biomass as part of renewable energy policy which are distorting the market and having negative consequences for the oleochemicals sector.

Used vegetable oils. As an alternative to traditional regulation, a voluntary audit scheme was developed to ensure that the handling and subsequent use of waste cooking oil complied with the Animal By-Products Regulations.
Offshore wind farms. We have received a positive response from all stakeholders to looking at ways to increase joinedup Government working and co-ordination in the offshore wind farms sector.

Delivery restrictions. The joint industry/Government working group is reviewing the potential for relaxing delivery restrictions to retail sites, and we are also actively working with industry to obtain detailed evidence to feed into this work.

Red diesel. Customs & Excise are considering the detailed evidence we obtained about the undue regulatory burdens on the plant hire sector in relation to the sale or supply of red diesel, prior to identifying potential solutions.
Working at heights. The BRT sponsored an initiative for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the constructional steelwork sector to produce joint sector-specific guidance to enable compliance with the proposed ‘Working at Heights’ regulations.

We also worked with relevant Government Departments and Agencies on a number of issues arising from our 2002 and 2003 programmes, for example regulation of the food and drink industry, chemicals regulations, etc.
As part of the Regulatory Impact Unit (RIU), the Team is committed to working with business, Government Departments and Agencies to deliver significant changes in the regulatory environment to relieve burdens on the private sector, and where appropriate, improving the application of regulations and enhancing regulatory consistency.
Finally, on behalf of the Team, I would like to thank all the individuals and organisations, from both the public and private sectors, for their efforts in ensuring the delivery of a successful 2004 work programme.

Ian Morfett
Head of the Team
‘These initiatives will be of vital benefit to the construction industry.’
Graham Watts , Chief Executive, Construction Industry Council
The full report is available at: