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Business: Regulation

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what criteria and performance measures his Department uses to assess the performance of industry regulators. (224778)

Regulatory agencies in the UK cover a wide-range of sectors and activities. There are currently some 40 national regulatory bodies, 10 economic regulators and some 468 local authorities, all of which regulate industry in some way.

There are a wide range of performance measures used in respect of their work: these will commonly feature in the relevant annual reports and (in the case of local authorities) in a range of nationally-set performance indicators led by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Economic regulators report directly to Parliament.

The Better Regulation Executive in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has worked with the National Audit Office to develop a process of external review of regulatory performance against the principles of the 2005 Hampton Report (HM Treasury 2005). These are known as ‘Hampton Implementation Reviews' and are being conducted on all 40 national regulatory bodies.

The purpose of these reviews is to assess how well national regulators are following the Hampton principles which are in essence the criteria. The reviews encourage best practice and continuous improvement among regulators. They do not include quantitative performance measures.