Regulatory Oversight Body calls for Better Use of Evidence in the UK


In the UK the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment (SBEE) Act 2015 requires the Government to set the scope, rules and level for the business impact target within the first year of a new Parliament. The newly-elected government have already committed to achieve at least £10 billion of savings to business by reducing burdensome regulation over the next five years.

The Regulatory Policy Committee in performing its role of oversight body has undertaken analysis over recent months to provide the new government with an evidence base to the reform of the regulatory framework. Research by the RPC has gathered the following findings:

  • Nearly half of the approximately 1,000 laws enacted during the previous parliament were outside the scope of the Government’s One-in, One-out and One-in, Two-out rules. Nearly 70% of these were of EU origin.
  • In 2014, although about half of the cases discussed non-regulatory options, only 12% of all cases provided a full assessment.
  • Overall only around a third of cases examined by RPC quantified wider impacts beyond business.

An RPC review of the 83 cases requiring a small and microbusiness assessment (SaMBA) in 2014 showed that the Government could do more to strengthen the evidence base and analysis underpinning decisions on the exemption of small business from new regulation.

Regulatory Policy Committee. 2015. RPC advice on deregulation and implementation of the SBEE Act 2015 – Summary of evidence

(Fabrizio Di Mascio)