The Government has produced a report setting out its response to the recommendations contained in the first ever Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which was undertaken by Martin Temple, Chair of the EEF (the trade body for UK manufacturing companies).
In total, Mr Temple made 38 recommendations within his Triennial Review of the HSE. In relation to the Fees For Intervention (‘FFI’) regime he stated:
‘I recommend that, unless the link between fines and funding can be removed or the benefits can be shown to outweigh the detrimental effects, and it is not possible to minimise those effects, FFI should be phased out’.
In its report in response to Mr Temple’s recommendations, published in June 2014, the Government confirm that it remained committed to the principle of the FFI cost recovery regime in that ‘businesses that are found to be in serious breach of health and safety law – rather than the taxpayer – should bear the related costs incurred by the regulator in helping them put things right’.
There is recognition within the report that Martin Temple had found that a number of stakeholders were concerned about how the regime could damage previously positive relationships between the HSE and the businesses that it regulates. In response to this concern The Minister for Disabled People, the Rt. Hon Mike Penning MP, has instructed the HSE to set up a Review Panel, under an independent chair, to consider the operation of FFI and the impact charging has had on the relationship between HSE and business.
Professor Alan Harding (Director, Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice at Liverpool University) has been selected to Chair this Panel, which will report to the HSE board in July 2014 and will make recommendations to the Minister for Disabled People on the future of the FFI regime.