On 21 July 2008 the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (the Act) received Royal Assent.

The Act is split into four parts that are:

• Part 1 - the Local Better Regulation Office is given statutory powers to promote a consistent, transparent, accountable and proportionate approach to the way local authorities enforce legislation in their capacity as regulators.

• Part 2 - is concerned with the co-ordination of regulatory enforcement.

• Part 3 - provides for civil sanctions in the form of fixed monetary penalties, discretionary penalties (variable monetary penalties), stop notices and enforcement undertakings to be applied by regulators in place of initiating criminal proceedings.

• Part 4 - imposes a duty on regulators to review and reduce regulatory burdens.

Parts 1, 3 and 4 are due to come into force on 1 October 2008 and Part 2 on 6 April 2009.

Clickhere for the Act.