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Departmental Simplification Plans

Volume 687: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office is today publishing simplification plans for 18 departments and government agencies. The Health and Safety Executive published its plan in October, taking the total number of plans published this autumn to 19.

The plans set out more than 500 initiatives, which, when delivered, will result in a reduction in administrative burdens and policy costs for the UK economy as a whole. The plans commit departments to cutting administrative burdens for business, voluntary and charitable organisations by at least 25 per cent by 2010, with estimated savings of £2 billion already identified in the plans.

This groundbreaking initiative marks the start of a rolling programme of simplification. These plans will make individual departments accountable for the burdens that they impose. Departments will update plans annually in order to ensure ongoing year-on-year reductions in the burdens that they impose.

Alongside the package of simplification plans, the Government will also commit to several important supporting measures. These include an upgrading of the web portal through which simplification ideas can be submitted, a campaign to identify regulations that conflict or overlap and benefits of the flow of regulation, and annual updates on progress against the simplification agenda.

Copies of all 19 simplification plans and relevant supporting documents have been placed in the Library for the reference of noble Lords and will be available in the Printed Paper Office.