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RRG’s First Report: The Purpose of Regulation

The RRG’s first report offers a systematic appraisal of the UK’s regulators and identifies a number of issues which fall into four main categories:

 

  1. a lack of strategic direction to and by the regulators;
     

  2. strained regulatory relationships - both between industry and regulators, and between regulators themselves;
     

  3. incomplete lines of accountability around the objectives set for regulators and the measurement of regulatory performance, and;
     

  4. the need to build up greater skills and knowledge within regulators and support them with sufficient resourcing.

Rather than advocating for a wave of deregulation, the group instead proposes a number of recommendations to help transition to a smarter and more democratically accountable approach to overseeing regulators.

Other recommendations include a dedicated ‘Office for Oversight of Regulators’ in the Cabinet Office, and a new accountability framework to establish a standardised set of metrics to measure regulators’ performance. All the recommendations align with the overarching aim to implement an outcomes-based approach to future regulation.

The report has been warmly welcomed across Government, including from No.10, the Department for Business and Trade, and the Treasury.

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“This welcome conversation between you in terms of this piece of work and government needing to urgently respond sets the context for interventions that I know are being worked up in government at the moment… This is a great opportunity for us to enable growth through a refresh of our mindset of what regulators are there to do, how they are accountable and how they actually give us a better prospectus than a very very cumbersome and bureaucratic environment that we had before.”

John Glen, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Please find the report here.

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