Red tape action plan calls for ‘regulation champion'

Minister Jonathan Bell is joined by Munster Simms managing director Patrick Roberts to launch ‘Better Regulation: An Action Plan for Reform’
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BUSINESS groups have given a broad welcome to a new Executive-led action plan to tackle business red tape.

‘Better Regulation: An Action Plan For Reform’ has been published by the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Describer as "a realistic and robust programme of work to minimise the impact of regulation on businesses", it contains some 20 action points.

They include the appointment of a "better regulation champion" and sets out a visionary digital transformation programme to introduce a single business regulation hub.

It also included a review regulatory impact assessment guidance to ensure Ministerial decisions are based on robust validated evidence and assessment,and a revitalised regulators forum to oversee a body of work to deliver a more consistent and higher standard of regulatory delivery.

"This blueprint is to be welcomed as it sets out a clear road map to address the ongoing burden of red tape on our members,” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA).


“In our recently launched 97-Point Plan, NIIRTA called for the appointment of a better regulation champion and that the red tape challenge should be addressed by every Executive department. We are pleased this report has included those recommendations.”


He added: “But the success of this strategy will ultimately be when our members tell us that they are able to spend more time running their businesses, rather than wasting time filling in forms or complying with excessive inspection regimes”

Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell, who launched the document during a visit to Munster Simms Engineering in Bangor, said: "The action plan is designed to reform and improve the often complex regulatory regime in Northern Ireland.

“Better regulation is a cross cutting issue which affects many areas but through this ambitious and challenging plan we have the opportunity to make a significant and meaningful impact to regulatory reform here.”

The document is available for download from

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