Select Committee on Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Fourth Report

Reduction and removal of burdens

  22. The proposal clearly reduces or removes burdens. The transfer of responsibility for meeting certain categories of expenditure on VA school premises involves the reduction or removal of burdens on governing bodies and LEAs, and the overall effect of the proposal will be to reduce the administrative burdens associated with the complex arrangements currently in place.[26] This welcome reduction in bureaucratic burdens was confirmed directly to us by representatives of Dioceses, LEAs, schools and governing bodies.[27] Those aspects of the proposal concerned with increasing the rate of support for VA governing bodies from 85% to 90% would also reduce the burden on the Secretary of State arising from the 85% limit on the grant he is able to pay.[28] Additionally, the aspect of the proposal concerned with changing the arrangements in respect of claims and payments will have the effect of relieving a financial burden on VA governing bodies and, in many cases, the Dioceses which support them, since they will no longer be required to pay invoices before receiving grant payment from the Department in respect of those invoices.

Other benefits

  23. VA schools' current reliance on funding from LEAs means that they have often been unable to undertake projects which they regard as a high priority, but for which LEAs have for various reasons not provided the necessary funds. As the explanatory memorandum notes, consultation has shown that VA governing bodies welcome the additional flexibility in relation to the use of grant, and greater control over decision­making in respect of the premises needs of their schools, which will be possible as a result of these proposals and the associated funding arrangements.[29]

26   Explanatory memorandum, para 25. Back

27   Not printed. Back

28   Section 2(1) of the Regulatory Reform Act (which provides that, in that Act, the term "burden" does not include any burden which affects only a Minister of the Crown or government department) does not apply here because the burden on the Secretary of State also affects VA governing bodies. Back

29   Explanatory statement, paras 35, 42, 45, 54. Back

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