News story

The RPC publishes opinions on fit for purpose impact assessments

Published impact assessment opinions based on external, independent scrutiny of new regulation by the Regulatory Policy Committee

placeholder

The Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) has today published its latest batch of opinions on the evidence base for regulatory proposals brought forward by the Government.

Live consultations

Of the opinions published today, one relates to a consultation that is currently open:

  • Review and changes to the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 - The proposal would repeal the Riot (Damages) Act 1886, with the Department consulting on options including not replacing the legislation or replacing it with new legislation implementing some or all of the recommendations of the independent review of the Act. While rated as fit-for-purpose, the Impact Assessment was given an amber rating as there has been no assessment of the likely size of some of the costs associated with the removal of the Act, such as increased insurance premiums, on the basis that they are indirect. While indirect costs are not in scope of one-in, two-out, the IA should assess them adequately in order to provide a complete picture of the likely effects of the proposal.

Final stage impact assessments

Of the opinions published today, the RPC has confirmed as fit for purpose 31 final stage impact assessments. This includes validating the estimated costs and benefits to business and civil society organisations. This includes the following proposals:

Validated deregulatory proposals (with benefits greater than £1 million each year)

  • Reducing the burdens of the Licensing Act 2003 (including Temporary Event Notices (TENs), Community Ancillary Notices (CANs), and late night refreshments) (£2.5 million benefit each year) - These are proposals to reduce the burdens of licensing requirements through increasing the number of Temporary Event Notices (TENs) businesses are permitted; and enabling the sale of limited amounts of alcohol as part of a wider service and for community sellers through Community and Ancillary Notices (CANs). This Impact Assessment (IA) is now rated as fit for purpose (green), now that the Department has addressed the concerns raised by the Committee in its previous opinion of 19 March 2014. The IA now contains what appears to be a more reasonable estimate of the expected profits for ancillary sellers of alcohol as a result of the proposal. As a result, the RPC can validate the estimated equivalent net savings to business of £2 million on average each year, down from an initial estimate by the Department of £7.6 million each year.

  • Company filing requirements (£13.8 million benefit each year) - The proposal is to implement a package of measures, with several strands, to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses by streamlining and improving Companies House reporting requirements. The Impact Assessment (IA) is rated as fit for purpose (green) as the RPC is now able to validate the estimated annual savings to business of £13.8 million. The previous IA, rated as not fit for purpose, estimated the annual savings to business as £37.7 million.

  • Copyright exceptions (£52.5 million benefit each year) – These are a package of measures to reform copyright laws, following the Hargreaves review. These are intended to increase the range of legitimate exceptions to copyright laws, reducing costs to businesses and civil society organisations from having to comply with the regulatory requirements. Taken together the package of measures are expected to result in annual benefits of £52.5 million overall, with the majority coming from changes to exceptions for private copying (expected to save £27.5 million), and archiving and preservation (estimated at £24.4million).

  • Consumer redress for misleading and aggressive commercial practices (£2.8 million benefit each year) - The proposals would introduce a limited right providing redress to consumers who have entered into a contract or made a payment to a trader as a result of a misleading or aggressive practice. In addition to providing extra protection for consumers, businesses were expected to benefit from simpler complaints processes for businesses and traders that are compliant with the law. The RPC was able to validate the benefits to business but highlighted areas where the analysis of the benefits to consumers could be improved.

  • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2013 (£8.7 million benefit each year) - These reforms aim to simplify the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) framework in a way that maintains the protection of the worker but also maximises the opportunities of workers and employers to reach agreements within the framework which they consider to be mutually beneficial. Where possible it also aims to reduce administrative burdens and improve the guidance about how the framework works.

Validated regulatory proposals (with costs greater than £1 million each year)

  • Pubs Statutory Code and Adjudicator (£2.69 million cost each year) - The proposal would introduce a statutory code and adjudicator to ensure that pub landlord tenants have access to better information when making decisions on entering into contracts with pub-owning companies. The impact assessment describes clearly the existing market failures and how the proposal would address these. In responding to the comments in the RPC’s previous opinion, the proposal now appears to be a more targeted response to the market failures identified. The RPC validated the estimated annual net cost to business of £2.69 million (revised from £15.47 million in the previous submission).

EU measures

The RPC has validated the cost to business and civil society organisations for five regulatory changes that originate from the European Union or international agreement.

Consultations on new regulatory proposals

The RPC has confirmed as fit for purpose five impact assessments relating to consultations on new regulatory proposals to be introduced by the Government. This means the RPC agrees that the impact assessments contain sufficient information to support the consultation process. These included the following proposal:

  • Standardised packaging of tobacco - The proposal is to standardise tobacco packaging as part of the aim of improving public health. The Impact Assessment (IA) has been given an amber rating and will be fit for purpose, provided the Department addresses a number of points in the RPC Opinion. While the IA describes the likely costs and benefits associated with the measure, the Department should provide a fuller discussion of a number of the costs, along with some indication of their likely extent where possible. This would allow for a more meaningful consultation about these costs. The IA would also benefit from a fuller description of the EU Tobacco Products Directive within the body of the text. This would allow readers to understand better where the proposed measure goes beyond the Directive.

The full list of opinions being published

Final stage

  • Amendment to the Order made under the Import of Live Fish Act (ILFA) 1980
  • Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention)(Hours of Work) (Amendment) Regulations (“the 2013 Regulations”)
  • Pubs Statutory Code and Adjudicator
  • Deregulation and simplification of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (EPR) 1461a
  • Company filing requirements
  • Consumer redress for misleading and aggressive commercial practices
  • Child maintenance reforms: CSA case closure, introducing CMS fees, supporting family-based arrangements
  • Temporary Event Notices (TENs): Reducing the burdens of the Licensing Act 2003
  • Proposals to reduce burdens of licensing on those who sell limited amounts of alcohol as part of a wider service (“ancillary sellers”) Licensing Act 2003
  • Late Night Refreshment - Reducing the burdens of the Licensing Act 2003
  • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2013
  • Extending the Range of Regulations Covered by Primary Authority scheme to cover the age-restricted sale of alcohol and fire safety regulations
  • The Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (Amendment) Regulations 2012
  • Changes to fees and frequencies inspections of children’s social care providers
  • Marine Licensing (Application Fees) Regulations 2013
  • Court Fees, Costs Recovery
  • Public Bodies Reform Bill – marine management organisations
  • Experimental use and Bolar Exception
  • The Pensions Act 2011 (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2014
  • Order to ban the sale of certain non-native species in England and Wales under section 14ZA of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • Exception for copying works for use by text and data analytics
  • Exception for use of quotations or extracts of copyright works
  • Use of works for public administration and reporting
  • Consumer Landscape Review: Transfer of Consumer Advocacy Responsibilities
  • Copyright exception for Parody
  • Extending Copyright Exceptions for Educational Use
  • Copyright Exception for Private Copying
  • Copyright exceptions for disabled people
  • Copyright exception for archiving and preservation
  • Extend exception for copying for research and private study
  • Raising the threshold for compulsory registration on the Early Years Register and General Childcare Register

EU measures (final stage)

  • Amendment to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 - new schedule for Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs)
  • Ports of Barrow, Cardiff ,Cromarty Firth, Fowey, Oban, Peterhead, Plymouth, Shoreham and Troon (The “listed Ports”)
  • Impact Assessment for the Ports of: Belfast, Felixstowe/Harwich, Ipswich, Medway and Thames (“the Listed Ports”)
  • Amending COMAH 1999 to align the thresholds for Heavy Fuel Oil with those of Petroleum Products
  • Updating labelling requirements in the Aerosol Dispensers Regulations (EU Directive 2013/10/EU)

Consultations

  • Introduction of permissive legislative framework for Defined Ambition pension schemes and removal of statutory indexation for existing Defined Benefit schemes
  • Standardised packaging of tobacco products
  • Unified Patent Court implementation: Alignment of exceptions to infringement
  • Consultation on draft COMAH Regulations 2015 to implement the Seveso III Directive 2012/18/EU on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, amending Council Directive 96/82/EC
  • Revision of Fees: Amendment of the Plant Health (Export Certification) (England) Order 2004 and the Plant Health (Export Certification) (Wales) Order 2006

Notes to editors

The RPC is an independent non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. The Committee is formed of eight independent experts from a range of backgrounds, including business, civil society and academia, supported by a secretariat of civil servants.

We assess the quality of evidence and analysis supporting many of the regulatory changes affecting businesses and civil society organisations. We check whether central government departments’ estimated costs or savings to business, as a result of regulatory reforms, are robust. We check that government departments explain why new regulation is more appropriate than the alternative, such as voluntary codes.

The RPC currently helps ensure government departments consider any impacts of regulation on small businesses. Where new regulation is required, the RPC checks that the government explains how it is minimising the effects on small businesses in particular. This requires departments to provide a clear analysis of the potential impact of the proposal on smaller businesses, and the effect of proposed mitigating actions to reduce burdens.

Further information can be found through the RPC website – www.gov.uk/rpc - including published opinions on government’s regulatory proposals, the validated costs and benefits of proposals and analysis on the impact of independent scrutiny on the quality of evidence used by government departments.

Published 25 July 2014