Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs about the Red Tape Challenge
What is Red Tape Challenge about?
It’s about harnessing the experience and ideas of those who deal with regulation day-in, day-out to help us cut red tape. Through this site we’re gathering your thoughts on which regulations should stay, which can be merged, which can be scrapped and so on. Ministers and government officials will then use this information to help them cut the right regulations in the right way.
How does it work?
Every few weeks we’ll publish regulations relating to a specific sector – from retail to transport – and throughout the process we’ll publish general regulations that relate to all sectors, such as those on equality or health and safety. People will come to the site and comment – and those thoughts will be collated by government officials to provide a clearer picture of which regulations should stay, which should go and which should change. Ministers will then have three months to decide which regulations they will scrap, with the presumption that all burdensome regulations will go unless the government departments can justify why they are needed. Find out more here.
How long will the process last?
From April 2011 until April 2013.
FAQs about included regulations
What regulations are included?
The challenge aims to look at some of the stock of over 21,000 statutory rules and regulations that are active in the UK today. The priority will be to focus on regulations that we know place the biggest burdens on businesses and society.
Are any regulations excluded?
The exercise will not examine regulations in relation to tax or national security.
Why are tax regulations exempt from this exercise?
Separate arrangements are in place to simplify the tax system, led by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).
FAQs about Enforcement
How is the Focus on Enforcement site linked to the Red Tape Challenge?
We are tackling unnecessary and inappropriate regulations through the Red Tape Challenge. But sometimes, the regulation itself is fine – it is inconsistent or inappropriate enforcement that causes problems or enforcement could just be so much better. The Focus on Enforcement initative wants your help to identify where enforcement can be improved, reduced or done differently and to discover and celebrate where it works really well, so others can learn from it. Visit the website here: http://discuss.bis.gov.uk/focusonenforcement/.
Why was regulatory enforcement included as a Red Tape Challenge theme?
We received lots of the comments on the Red Tape Challenge website from businesses about enforcement. It’s clear that in some cases it is not regulation itself which causes problems, but the way it is enforced. We therefore added ‘Regulatory Enforcement’ on the Red Tape Challenge site for 2 months as part of a summer-long drive to engage with business on the big issues in enforcement.
Will you be scrapping regulators and enforcement systems in the same way as you’re doing with regulations?
The ‘Regulatory Enforcement’ theme will be different to other parts of the Red Tape Challenge – we won’t be scrapping regulators or doing away with enforcement as a whole, but we want to hear about ways in which we can do things better. These views will feed into a summer long consultation we are running on enforcement, with enforcement proposals published later this Autumn.
FAQS on commenting
Can I submit a private comment, or longer submission?
All comments posted on this website are public to promote an open discussion of ways in which the aims of existing regulation can be fulfilled in the least burdensome way possible. However, If you wish to submit a private contribution, or longer submission, you can join the debate via our e-mail inbox: firstname.lastname@example.org
The theme I want to comment on is closed – how can I comment?
If the sector and category of regulation you wanted to comment on is closed and the topic you wished to discuss was not raised by others, you can send comments through to us.
How is this linked to the Tell Us How website?
Tell Us How is firmly aimed at the public sector. If you are a public sector employee and have an idea on how to improve the delivery of public services; or want to share your thoughts on how processes, rules and requirements impact on your daily tasks, please visit the Tell Us How website here. If you are a public sector employee and want to comment on the regulations that affect your work area, please visit the relevant Red Tape Challenge theme comment page.
I want to make a comment to improve the website – how can I comment?
If you think we can make this website better for users, please send your comments to us.
What is the tagging function on the comments page?
Any user can tag their comment with relevant terms. Tagging your comment makes it searchable, and allows others to find your comments easier by only displaying comments that are tagged with a specific phrase/word. To do this, please type in a relevant topic keyword in the ‘tags’ field. Multiple keywords can be separated with a comma.
What do the different colours in comment replies represent? Who is the Red Tape Challenger?
If another user replies to your comment on a theme discussion page, it will appear in green. Our website is also facilitated by a Red Tape Challenger for each theme (posts appear in pink), and our theme sector champions (posts appear in blue). They will help encourage and stimulate discussion on the website by responding to comments posted by users.
FAQs on EU regulations
Will you scrap EU regulations?
The UK government cannot scrap EU regulations, but we do recognise the burden they impose. That is why we are giving the public an opportunity to comment on how EU legislation has been implemented in the UK on this website. We will then review any instances of ‘gold-plating’ – where the UK has gone beyond the minimum required by the EU legislation.
What are you doing to address the burdens of EU regulations?
We are working with other EU Member States to try to make sure new burdens placed on business are off-set by savings elsewhere. We are pushing the European Commission to start by publishing the cost of planned regulations and setting a target to reduce the overall burden of EU regulation. We are also working to try and ensure that the European Commission strengthens the Small and Medium Enterprise test so that businesses of fewer than 10 employees are exempted from new European legislation.
FAQs about devolved administrations
Do the regulations on the site apply across the UK?
The Government is consulting on a wide range of regulations, some of which extend to the whole of the UK and some which are limited to England, depending on the relevant devolution settlement in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can follow the link for each regulation to check which area it applies to.
Are you planning to abolish regulations in devolved areas?
The UK Government is not considering or consulting on regulations that are the responsibility of the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, we will look to work with the devolved administrations and hope that they will also see the benefits of the deregulation agenda.
FAQs on progress
How can I see what progress is made?
Any announcement on Red Tape Challenge decisions will be published on this website in our news page here, allowing you to see what action has been or will be taken.
How quickly will regulations be repealed?
At the end of the three-month review following each sector, departments will set out which regulations will be repealed and by when. For those regulations that are going we will aim to repeal them as quickly as possible.
FAQs on the deregulation agenda
Where can I see regulations you have already cut?
You can see regulations the government has already cut here.
Where can I find out what new regulations are being introduced?
We have published regulations implemented or planned to be implemented in the period between 1 January 2011 to 30 June 2011, in the ‘one-in, one-out statement of new regulation’ – http://www.bis.gov.uk/publications
What are you doing to tackle the flow of new regulation?
The Government has pursued an ambitious deregulation agenda to stem the flow of new regulation. This has included introducing a new one-in, one-out rule, meaning Ministers have to identify an existing piece of regulation to be scrapped for every new one proposed;a strengthened role for the Regulatory Policy Committee to review the costs and benefits of new regulation proposals, and a three-year moratorium on domestic regulation for very small firms and start-ups.
FAQs on contacting us
Who are the Red Tape Challenge Team?
The Red Tape Challenge is a cross-Whitehall programme, and is led by a small central team across Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
How can I get in touch with the project team?
To contact the Red Tape Challenge project team you can either email us or write to us at
Red Tape Challenge
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
1 Victoria Street
Can I suggest sectors to look at?
Yes – we welcome any suggestions of sectors you think we should examine and you can send your suggestions through to us.
This site is designed to promote open discussion of ways in which the aims of existing regulation can be fulfilled in the least burdensome way possible. The presence of a particular regulation or law on this website should not be read as implying any intention on the part of the Government to remove that regulation or law from the statute book. The purpose of this exercise is to open government up to the public.