Memorandum submitted by Mr Christopher
The Better Regulation Task Force is an independent,
advisory, unpaid group, appointed by the Chancellor of the Duchy
of Lancaster for two years in September 1997 (The Chair is appointed
for three years). It is supported by officials in the Better Regulation
Unit of the Cabinet Office.
Terms of Reference
"To advise the government on action which
improves the effectiveness and credibility of government regulation
by ensuring that it is necessary, fair and affordable, and simple
to understand and administer, taking particular account of the
needs of small businesses and ordinary people."
The Task Force has 16 members and is chaired
by Christopher Haskins. In line with the manifesto commitment,
half have small business interests. But the Task Force's membership
is also drawn from the wider business community, from citizen
and voluntary groups, the trade union movement and the enforcement
community (police and local authority) to ensure a balanced approach.
Mr Haskins is also Chairman of Northern Foods
plc and Express Dairies plc, a major UK food producer, having
started with the company in 1962. His appointment as a working
peer was announced on 20 June 1998 but he is yet to take his seat.
He is a member of the UK Round Table on Sustainable Development
and the CBI President's Council. He was a member of the Hampel
Committee on Corporate Governance. In 1992-94 he was a member
of the Independent Commission on Social Justice and in 1995-96
a member of William Waldegrave's Common Agricultural Policy Reform
Group. He is a Trustee of DEMOS and of the National Civil Liberties
Principles of Good Regulation
In January 1998 the Task Force published Principles
of Good Regulation. The principles that the Task Force feel
are necessary for good regulation are:
These principles were endorsed by the Prime
Minister when he met the Task Force on 5 March 1998. They have
also been sent to all MPs and British MEPs.
The Task Force is using these principles as
a template to examine key areas of regulation, including both
existing and proposed regulation. It has published its findings
as each area is completed. It has also responded to a number of
A review of Consumer Affairs was published
in May 1998. Among its recommendations were two deregulation orders:
that the deregulation order on the
self-verification of weighing and measuring equipment be brought
to the relevant parliamentary committees as a matter of priority;
that a deregulation order should
be introduced this year to remove licensing on the sale of game.
A review of long-term care was also published
in May 1998 and recommended two deregulation orders:
a possible amendment to the Registered
Homes Act 1984 to address the disproportionate nature of the situation
whereby local authorities are barred from placing contracts with
a proprietor is convicted of any offence; and
consideration should be given to
extending the use of model appeals mechanisms as set out in the
Deregulation and Contracting Out Act.
In July 1998 the Task Force will publish reviews
of a further three areas:
The Task Force will produce an annual report
in September 1998.
Secretary to the Task Force
23 June 1998