To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
(1) by what mechanisms his Department measures the effectiveness of the means by which businesses are made aware of changes to regulation;
(2) what steps his Department is considering to improve the means by which businesses are (a) made aware of and (b) advised on matters relating to changes in regulation.
On the 7 of January Government published a consultation document on a Code of Practice on Good Guidance on Regulation. The Code outlines golden rules of good guidance which set the standards businesses and third sector organisations can expect from guidance on regulations. The consultation will run until the 31 of March to give businesses and others time to give their views on what the Code should contain.
To reduce the burden of changing regulations for business, the majority of changes affecting business come into force on two dates (Common Commencement Dates). In October 2007 for the first time, simple, easy to understand guidance was produced with the help of business to support the changes taking effect and communicated to businesses via the Business Link website (www.businesslink.gov.uk) and business and professional organisations. Business can also sign up on the Business Link website for email alerts informing them of forthcoming regulations.
In addition, the Department publishes on its website an annual statement of forthcoming legislation where we provide details of all legislation for which BERR is responsible due to enter into force in the next 12 months. htttp://www.berr.gov.uk/bbf/better-regulation/forthcoming-leg/page24668.html