Unlocking the potential of Primary Authority: Implementing the Enterprise Act 2016

Closed 7 Apr 2017

Opened 13 Feb 2017

Overview

Primary Authority enables businesses to obtain consistent advice on compliance with regulation, in a tailored and cost effective manner, from local authorities. Primary Authority advice is assured – the primary authority may direct against enforcement action if it is deemed to be inconsistent with advice given – and this gives businesses the confidence to invest and grow. The scheme is statutory, established by the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (RESA). As at December 2016, 15,850 businesses and 181  primary authorities are in Primary Authority partnerships.

Government recognises the value of Primary Authority to businesses and regulators alike. Primary Authority represents a new way of regulating, in which regulators work closely with businesses to ensure compliance while encouraging growth. Since Primary Authority began in 2009, the scheme has been extended to include more areas of regulation and to enable more businesses to participate. Businesses which are regulated by multiple local authorities are able to partner directly with a primary authority, or are able to access the scheme via a coordinator such as a trade association.

Following public consultation and a review of Primary Authority, the Enterprise Act 2016 further extends and simplifies Primary Authority, with effect from 1 October 2017.  These changes include:
-    Opening up Primary Authority partnerships to pre-start up businesses and businesses trading in only one local authority area;
-    Making it easier for groups of businesses to access Primary Authority by placing coordinators at the heart of partnerships, removing the requirement for individual businesses that rely on their co-ordinator to sign up for partnerships;
-    Creating a statutory role for national regulators to support primary authorities, thereby allowing greater consistency across local and national regulation; and
-    Updating and streamlining administrative processes.

This consultation includes a draft statutory instrument containing the details needed  to effect these changes. The draft statutory instrument proposes to:
-    specify several national regulators to be ‘supporting regulators’ to  Primary Authority partnerships;
-    ensure that the scope of Primary Authority in Scotland and Northern Ireland continues unchanged;
-    simplify the definition of ‘enforcement action’ for the purposes of notifications to the primary authority; and
-    update the requirements for applications for the determination process.

The consultation also outlines proposals to replace the ‘categories’ system which determines the scope of partnerships and underpins the current administration of Primary Authority.

A series of engagement events is planned for Spring 2017 and all stakeholders are encouraged to attend. These events will outline how Primary Authority will operate from 1 October 2017 and will give participants further opportunity to express their views. We are building a new Primary Authority Register, ready for 1 October 2017 and input from users is  shaping its development.

General views, in addition to responses to specific questions, are welcome. The consultation closes on 7 April 2017.

Why We Are Consulting

We are keen to hear your thoughts and examples around the implementation of the Primary Authority changes detailed in this consultation and about the supporting regulations, specifically on how these proposals might affect your organisation or those you represent.

It is important to note that this is not a consultation on the policy changes that are laid down in the Enterprise Act 2016.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • SMEs (small and medium businesses)
  • Large businesses (over 250 staff)
  • Multinational businesses
  • Business journalists
  • Trade bodies
  • Legal representative
  • Medium business (50 to 250 staff)
  • Micro business (up to 9 staff)
  • Small business (10 to 49 staff)
  • Oil and Gas
  • Wind
  • Nuclear
  • Coal
  • Wave and tidal
  • Low carbon technologies
  • Construction
  • Investment
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Technology (R&D)
  • Property
  • Finance
  • Installer
  • Energy assesor
  • Landlord
  • Consumer organisations
  • Consumer law specialists
  • Consumers
  • Trade union or staff association
  • Employment lawyers
  • Employment advisers
  • Businesses
  • Individual employees
  • HR professionals
  • HR organisations
  • Further Education Colleges
  • Further Education students
  • FE press
  • FE policy organisations
  • Training Organisation
  • Further Education sector representative body
  • Universities
  • Students
  • University staff
  • HE policy organisations
  • HE journalists
  • Learned societies
  • University associations
  • Scientists
  • Higher Education institutions
  • HE representative bodies
  • Universities
  • Research Councils
  • Research Funders
  • Science Policy organisations and thinktanks
  • Learned Societies
  • National Academies
  • University associations
  • Science journalists
  • Researchers
  • HE Journalists and press
  • Innovation community
  • Thinktanks
  • Freelance researchers
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Consumers
  • General public
  • Black and ethnic minority groups
  • LGBT groups
  • Older people
  • Younger people
  • Disability groups
  • Charities
  • Local government
  • Charity or social enterprise
  • Central government
  • Individual
  • Regulator
  • Non-departmental public bodies
  • The Devolved Administrations
  • Charities and Third Sector organisations
  • Non-Government Organisations
  • Tied pub tenants
  • Tied pub-owning businesses
  • Trade associations: pubs
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Bioscience

Interests

  • Economic growth
  • Starting a business
  • Consumer rights
  • Innovation
  • Regulation and red tape
  • Industrial strategy
  • Business investment
  • Productivity
  • Effectiveness
  • Regulation
  • Growth
  • Competitiveness
  • Investment
  • Simplification
  • Efficiency
  • Stability