'We are encouraged by the extent to which departments have taken on board the majority of the recommendations in our reports and recognised the sound principles on which they are based.
'However, in several instances the lack of a timetable for action means that there is no clear commitment to implementing recommendations in the near future. We are concerned that much needed reforms - in particular of the licensing regime - might be put on the back burner.'
'Overall, we are pleased by the constructive approach which departments have taken to our reviews, but ultimately the government will be judged on its action rather than its commitments' said Lord Haskins.
'We will be continuing a dialogue with departments and pushing for firmer action where we feel that answers have been evasive or unsatisfactory.'
1. The Better Regulation Task Force is an independent advisory body appointed by the public service minister and then chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster David Clark in September 1997, and assisted and advised by the Better Regulation Unit of the Cabinet Office. Appointments are for two years and are unpaid.
2. The task force's terms of reference are to advise the government on action which improves the effectiveness and credibility of government regulation by ensuring that is necessary, fair and affordable and simple to understand and administer, taking particular account of the needs of small business and ordinary people.
3. The task force's five principles are: transparency, proportionality, targeting, consistency and accountability.
4. The task force's Reviews were published as follows:
Consumer Affairs May 1998
Long Term Care May 1998
Early Education and Day Care July 1998
Access to Funding for the Voluntary Sector July 1998
Licensing Legislation July 1998.
Departments were asked to respond to recommendations within 3 months.
The home office anticipates a substantive response to the Voluntary Sector review shortly. The department for education and employment has completed a consultation exercise on their regulation of Early Education and Day Care review, and expect to respond by the end of
5. Task Force membership:
Lord Haskins (Chair) Northern Food plc
Teresa Graham (Deputy Chair) Baker Tilly
Stephen Alambritis Federation of Small Businesses
Sarah Anderson Mayday Group
Allan Charlesworth West Yorkshire Police
Hugh Field BCB International
Ram Gidoomal Winning Communications
Simon Gourlay Farmer
Pamela Meadows Economist
Chai Patel Chai Patel Associates
Robert Purry Grant Thornton
Janet Russell Kirklees Metropolitan Council
Peter Salsbury Marks and Spencer
Helen Shovelton National Association of
Citizen's Advice Bureau
Sue Slipman Camelot
Ed Sweeney Banking Insurance and
6. Copies of the Better Regulation principles leaflet and Task
Force reviews are available from: Better Regulation Task Force, room 67A/3, Horse Guards Road, London SW1P 3AL. Tel: 0171 270 6601. They are also available on the Better Regulation Task Force website at http:\\www.open.gov.uk\co.bru.task.htm.