Farewell red tape?

Farewell red tape?

The government's Red Tape Challenge: is it a paradigm shift—how I dislike this clichéd term, but to my surprise here I am using it—or is it just a useful PR exercise?

Which rules and regulations across Whitehall will be scrapped and which will be improved?

Earlier on in the year we chatted to a spokesperson at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Here's what they had to say:

General changes following the Red Tape Challenge

During the course of the consultation, was there anything that surprised the joint BIS/Cabinet Office team or did anything unexpected get raised that you hadn’t thought of?

The government expected that lots of businesses and individuals would be interested in our generic themes, such as health and safety, environment and employment related law. But comments also revealed an unexpected strength of feeling around particular areas of regulation.

For example, lots of people, particularly musicians, felt very strongly that the regulation of live music under the Licensing Act 2003 was disproportionate and was crippling small-scale live music events. The government has now freed hundreds of live music events from entertainment licensing between the hours of 8am and 11pm, benefiting pubs, clubs and grassroots musicians.

How many suggestions per year (and overall) do you receive from businesses as part of the Red Tape Challenge?

Over 250,000 people have visited the Red Tape Challenge website in total, leaving over 30,000 comments or emails since the programme launched in April 2011.

What percentage of those suggestions are taken forward to investigation?

The Red Tape Challenge team worked with departments to examine every comment and email, directly categorising, organising, structuring, and looking for themes and common issues. Our approach was to treat every comment as potentially valid. In some cases, very short statements proved to be really worth investigating. Conversely, lots of comments on an issue might only count as one idea.

What percentage of those taken forward result in red tape being cut?

It is difficult be specific for the reasons mentioned above.

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