News story

Prisk sets challenge for better regulation through better regulators

Addressing the Local & National Regulators annual conference, Mark Prisk highlighted the importance of regulation in creating economic growth…

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


Addressing the Local & National Regulators annual conference, Mark Prisk highlighted the importance of regulation in creating economic growth and set out a number of proposals for improving the regulatory landscape, building on the relationship between business and regulators, including:

  • More use of co-regulation, where business shares a degree of regulatory responsibility, for example through industry bodies setting professional and working standards

  • Greater ‘earned recognition’ - where regulators recognise business activities that support compliance and reduce intervention, creating a stronger incentive for private sector led compliance

  • A role for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to improve the transparency and accountability of local regulation - bringing business and regulators together to look for ways to reduce unnecessary burdens

  • Clearer, more straightforward guidance - so that businesses, particularly SMEs, have greater access to clear guidance on what they need to do to comply.

Mark Prisk said:

“We understand that Britain’s businesses need to concentrate on what they do best - growing their business, creating jobs and driving forward economic recovery. We have made good progress already, reducing the impact of red tape on businesses through the radical system of One-In, One-Out, the three-year micro-business moratorium and the Red Tape Challenge - a wholesale review of the entire stock of regulation.

“But when regulation becomes heavy-handed, inefficient, prescriptive and risk-averse it drags down the ability of businesses to grow, prosper and create jobs.

“It is nonsense to say that there must be a trade-off between protection and growth. That is a simplistic way of looking at a complex issue. The challenge is to transform the regulatory landscape so that the system delivers essential protections whilst avoiding unnecessary interference in the day to day work of hard-working business people seeking to innovate and grow and thereby delivering the jobs and wealth we need.”

For its role in delivering better local regulation, Mark Prisk praised the Primary Authority Scheme, which allows businesses spanning local authority boundaries to nominate a particular authority under whose regulatory regime they will operate. He said he would like it to be extended to cover more businesses, more policy areas and deliver more earned recognition for businesses.

The Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO), which administers the scheme, will also be replaced by a new organisation within the Department for Business, which will retain LBRO’s independence and draw on LBRO’s staff and their expertise.

Notes to Editors

  1. In June the Government launched two consultation documents: a Discussion Paper on improving the implementation of regulation and a document on the future of the Local Better Regulation Office and the Primary Authority scheme. Proposed changes will deliver commitments made in the Growth Review to free up business from unnecessary regulatory burdens.

  2. One-in, One-Out means that any new Whitehall regulation that imposes a net cost to business must be offset by a reduction in regulatory costs elsewhere. It is about making government departments ‘hesitate to regulate’ - thinking twice about bringing in red tape that could hold business back from creating jobs and growth.

  3. Read more about how One-in, One-out works here:

  4. The Red Tape Challenge was launched by the Prime Minister on 7 April. It gives the public the chance to have their say on some of the 21,000 regulations that affect their everyday lives. The website is available at

  5. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

  6. A moratorium to exempt businesses with fewer than ten employees and genuine start ups from new domestic regulation for three years was announced on 18 March 2011.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Aidan Steer Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5245 Fax



Published 1 November 2011