News story

Local regulators urged to ensure complaints processes are clear

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Better Regulation Delivery Office and Local Government Ombudsman encourage easier complaints and appeals procedures for business.

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The Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) is encouraging those delivering local regulatory services and managing corporate complaints to co-operate in ensuring their processes are transparent and easier for businesses.

Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Business and Energy, and Local Government Ombudsman Jane Martin, have written to local authority chief executives and chief fire officers, stressing the need for clear and accessible processes, as set out in the Regulators’ Code.

Dr Martin said: “Our experience shows that welcoming and valuing complaints plays a vital role in improving local authority service delivery.

“We welcome the new Regulators’ Code, and the recognition that it gives to the importance of easily accessible and robust complaints processes. The Local Government Ombudsman will be using the Code as a framework to review unresolved complaints about local authority regulatory services - this will give clarity and consistency about the way these unresolved complaints are assessed.”

BRDO Chief Executive Graham Russell said: “The new Code puts businesses’ need for clarity, transparency and minimum bureaucracy at the heart of the system, and we will be working closely with the Ombudsman and local authorities to ensure it is implemented effectively.”

The Regulators’ Code is available, along with supporting materials, on the GRIP portal website.

The supporting materials include FAQs which BRDO has just updated to address questions about the role of the Local Government Ombudsman, and a recently published toolkit that explores approaches to the provisions of section 6 of the Code in relation to publication of service standards and enforcement policies.

BRDO will support local regulators to deliver the Code through training and engagement activities over the coming months, and further tools will be made available on the GRIP page as they are developed.

The Code will come into force on April 6th: implementation will be confirmed on the GRIP portal website

Guidelines in the Regulators’ Code:

  • Regulators should carry out their activities in a way that supports those they regulate to comply and grow
  • Regulators should provide simple and straightforward ways to engage with those they regulate and hear their views
  • Regulators should base their regulatory activities on risk
  • Regulators should share information about compliance and risk
  • Regulators should ensure clear information, guidance and advice is available to help those they regulate meet their responsibilities to comply
  • Regulators should ensure that their approach to their regulatory activities is transparent
Published 20 March 2014