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2004 Hampton Review of Regulatory Inspections and Enforcement.

In 2004 the UK Chancellor asked Philip Hampton (Chairman of Sainsbury Plc) to conduct a review into regulatory inspection and enforcement with a view to reducing the administrative costs of regulation. Hampton produced a Report: “Reducing administrative burdens: effective inspection and enforcement”, in March 2005.

The following is an excerpt from the Report which highlights its conclusions and recommendations (the Report made 35 recommendations altogether, so below is only a summary of those):

“Risk assessment – though widely recognised as fundamental to effectiveness – is not implemented as thoroughly and comprehensively as it should be. Risk assessment should be comprehensive, and should be the basis for all regulators’ enforcement programmes. Proper analysis of risk directs regulators’ efforts at areas where it is most needed, and should enable them to reduce the administrative burden of regulation, while maintaining or even improving regulatory outcomes.

I am therefore recommending that:

  • comprehensive risk assessment should be the foundation of all regulators’ enforcement programmes;
  • there should be no inspections without a reason, and data requirements for less risky businesses should be lower than for riskier businesses;
  • resources released from unnecessary inspections should be redirected towards advice to improve compliance;
  • there should be fewer, simpler forms;
  • data requirements, including the design of forms, should be coordinated across regulators;
  • when new regulations are being devised, Departments should plan to ensure enforcement can be as efficient as possible, and follows the principles of this report; and
  • thirty-one national regulators should be reduced to seven more thematic bodies."

See the website of UK Treasure on updates on the implementation of the Report’s recommendations: