BusinessCompany NewsBusiness attacks NAO report

Business attacks NAO report

Business leaders have hit out at a long-awaited report on the burdens of regulation by parliament's financial watchdog, the National Audit Office.

Calling it a wasted opportunity, the British Chambers of Commerce said it was disappointed that the NAO’s report, Better Regulation: Making Use of Regulatory Impact Assessments, did not push hard enough for improvements in the way government departments assessed the impact of regulation.

Sally Low, BCC’s policy adviser, said: ‘It is disappointing that this long anticipated report represents a wasted opportunity to press the Cabinet Office to speed up the pace of improvement in this area and to achieve a better cross departmental approach to the carrying out of regulatory impact assessments.’

The NAO report said there was room for improvement in departmental use of RIAs and said the Cabinet Office should give clearer advice to policy makers on when an assessment is needed.

It also said the Small Business Service should tell departments how to consult more effectively with businesses affected by new regulation.

Low said the report backed up the BCC?s belief that RIAs were patchy and inconsistent, but accused the NAO of complacency.

‘We would have liked to have seen less complacency with regard to the time it is taking for these improvements to be made,’ she said.

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