Submitted by Local Authorities Co-ordinating
Body and Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS)
1. ENFORCEMENT CONCORDAT
I enclose a copy of the Enforcement Concordat
which was formally adopted in 1998 by the Cabinet Office (Better
Regulation Unit) and the local authority Associations. So far
as England is concerned, the local authority Associations have
commended the adoption of the Concordat by individual local authorities.
Many authorities have already done so, while many others are finalising
internal processes before putting the matter to elected Members
for a policy decision. A large number of authorities however already
operate with enforcement policies which incorporate the Concordat
Principles. The Concordat is intended to cover all local authority
regulatory activities and is therefore not confined solely to
The Committee will note that one of the principles
set out in the attached concerns Consistency and in turn refers
to relevant schemes operated by LACOTS. These would include the
Home Authority Principle, for example.
Work is now underway to identify examples of
best practice which can be used to assist authorities implement
and maintain adherence to the Concordat.
2. FOOD LAW
I attach the July 1998 FLEP Bulletin.
As described on page 1,
"the Forum is an informal grouping of European
Food Law Enforcement Practitioners. The aims include acquaintance,
exchange of information and co-operation between European colleagues
in order to further develop mutual confidence and trust in the
resolution of practical control problems and to promote the adoption
of good practice".
On the back cover of the Bulletin, the Committee
will note that the United Kingdom contact is LACOTS, although
the UK representation also includes colleagues from the Department
of Helath and the professional bodies.
On page 6 of the Bulletin, the Committee will
also note that the "Home Authority Principle" has been
adopted by FLEP and this was largely drawn from the UK model of
which LACOTS is the steward organisation.
3. LACOTS Business Agenda: June 1998
Finally, I am enclosing a copy of the above
which although not specifically mentioned during Monday evening's
Committee proceedings, hopefully provides context to many of the
points I made in my evidence about LACOTS role and its contribution
to enforcement co-ordination and consistency. In particular I
would draw the Committee's attention to:
Regional Liaison Groupsthese
exist for both food and trading standards purposes and provide
a foundation for the sharing of best practice and expertise and
collaboration on, for example, enforcement and sampling audits,
training and competence activities, etc. Developing and growing
Liaison Groups is a key objective for LACOTS in the year ahead.
Home Authority Principlea
consultation paper is currently being produced setting out options
for developing the Principle, not least to satisfy the emerging
requirements of the Food Standards Agency.
Inter Authority AuditingLACOTS
produced inter authority guidance in 1994, focusing on the enforcement
of food safety Regulations. That document is now being updated
to recognise recent work undertaken by MAFF and the DoH. It will
seek to adopt a more holistic audit of the enforcement framework
reflecting and complimenting initiatives such as the Enforcement
Concordant and the Home Authority Principle. The aim will be to
promote this new tool to authorities through a series of regional
events later this year.
is a major provider of information and guidance to local authorities.
However a new information strategy has been adopted which will
include the development of an updated Internet site so as to better
distribute and share examples of best practice and enforcement
I hope the above information further assists
the Committee in their scrutiny of the Food Standards Agency Draft
Bill and the role and contribution of LACOTS to consumer protection.
Should the Committee require any further information, then I will
do my utmost to supply that as quickly as possible.
5 Not printed. Back
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