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Better Regulation Commission

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Better Regulation Task Force and the Better Regulation Commission?

The Better Regulation Task Force was established in September 1997. It was an independent body set up to advise Government on action to ensure that regulation and its enforcement accord with the five Principles of Good Regulation :

In March 2005, the Better Regulation Task Force published a report called 'Regulation - Less is More' which recommended a radical programme of reform to deliver a net reduction in regulatory burdens. The Government accepted the recommendations in full, including setting targets for administrative burden reduction and introducing regulatory simplification plans across government departments.

As part of the reform package to drive these changes through, the Government announced in Budget 2005 that it would establish a Better Regulation Commission (BRC) to provide independent advice to government from business and other external stakeholders about new regulatory proposals and about the Government's overall regulatory performance. The Commission comes into being on 1 January 2006 .

The Commission will continue the challenge role carried out by the Better Regulation Task Force, as well as take on these new responsibilities, including vetting departmental plans for administrative burden reduction and simplification.

Why did the Better Regulation Task Force change its name?

The Task Force became the Commission for the reasons described above and to reflect that the organisation has been put onto a permanent footing. The name change also underlines that the Commission will now take on additional work, such as the independent scrutiny of departments' simplification plans.

What is the difference between the Better Regulation Commission Members and the Better Regulation Commission Secretariat?

Better Regulation Commission members are unpaid, voluntary members drawn from senior levels of the private, public and voluntary sectors. They are expected to give 2 days per month to Commission business but most give a lot more. The Secretariat is the group of civil servants (currently 12 posts) attached to the Better Regulation Executive in the Cabinet Office that supports the Commission members and works with them to deliver the agreed work programme.

What is the difference between the Better Regulation Commission and the Better Regulation Executive?

The Better Regulation Executive is a unit inside government, in the Cabinet Office, whose role is to drive forward delivery of the Government's commitments on better regulation. Further details are on the Better Regulation Executive website.

The Better Regulation Commission (formally a non-Departmental public body) is an independent group of experts from the private, public and voluntary sectors that sits outside government. It provides independent advice and challenge to government on its management and delivery of better regulation, as well as independent scrutiny of departments' plans for regulatory simplification.

The Better Regulation Commission works closely with the Better Regulation Executive but is independent from it.

How do you recruit Commission members?

Better Regulation Commission members are recruited under fair and open competition in line with the Code issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. We look for people who can demonstrate expertise in a particular regulatory area and a passion for reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, together with practical ideas of how to do so. In each recruitment round, we usually look for expertise in a particular regulatory area.

Any vacant posts are advertised on our website; alongside a person specification which will explain the particular regulatory expertise the Commission is looking for at that time. Details of any current vacancies are also published on the Cabinet Office website.

For information on our current members, please see our members' page.

What is the Better Regulation Commission Publications Scheme?

You can find out more about the Commission's Publications Scheme on the publications scheme page.