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Detail of outcome
In order to regulate effectively, regulators should be able to share data about the businesses they regulate. The government is keen to ensure that regulators comply to the fullest extent possible with the provisions of the Regulators’ Code concerning the sharing of information about risk. The 72 consultation responses (including those from workshop participants) indicated that some regulators would like to do more in terms of data sharing, but feel unable for a variety of reasons. Diverse feedback was also received in relation to the three options to encourage data sharing posed by the consultation. Given the views expressed, guidance and practical tools will be developed to help regulators begin (or expand) their data sharing activities and better understand the Data Protection Act 1998.
The consultation response is accompanied by two independent reports.
The first is an evaluation of the BRDO-led pilot in 2014 – involving three local authorities and a fire and rescue service in the Leicestershire area – of the Intelligent Regulatory Information System (IRIS), which enables the sharing of data between regulators. This proved useful to the participants, helping them to locate premises that were previously unknown, identify high-risk businesses and target the provision of support. The findings will inform the development of data sharing systems on a larger scale.
The second details the results of a research project to explore attitudes towards data sharing, drawing on interviews with 63 people in 30 organisations. The findings are broadly in line with the consultation responses, but indicate that several complex factors influence the ability and appetite of regulators to share data. Several organisational, legal and technical recommendations were made and these will be given consideration.
This consultation seeks views on non-economic regulators sharing data collected from businesses, to build the evidence to design effective solutions that work for both parties. One aim is to identify the legal, practical and other barriers which prevent or discourage regulators from sharing data.