AQW 23334/11-15

Mrs Dolores Kelly
Social Democratic and Labour Party
Upper Bann

Tabled Date: 21/05/2013
Answered On Date: 04/06/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for an update on the Better Regulation Review and to outline the action plan and timescales for delivery of the objectives.

The NI Agri-Food Better Regulations and Simplification Review was published in April 2009 and made 85 recommendations aimed at reducing the administrative burden on the agri-food industry.
The DARD Better Regulation Action Plan, which was recommended by the Review, dealt with the 63 recommendations put forward by an Independent Panel which were accepted or accepted in principle. The areas covered are what are considered to be the ten most burdensome areas of regulation in the sector.
Officials briefed the ARD Committee in November 2011 on the outcome of the interim re-measurement which showed a 4.3% net reduction in the administrative burden from the baseline set in 2007. This outcome was against a target to reduce the administrative burden on the agri-food sector by 25% by 2013, with an interim target of 15% by 2011. Officials in the Better Regulation Advisory Unit have also managed to broaden the scope of the simplification work by attending a series of events such as stakeholders road shows and agriculture shows to talk to customers about their concerns. Unfortunately the response so far has been minimal but the Department is committed to keeping similar channels of communication open should an individual or business wish to make any helpful suggestions.
The Better Regulation Action Plan came to an end on 31st March 2013. A final re-measurement exercise is currently underway again involving industry representatives and officials will brief the ARD Committee and make a final report available to the Assembly when this work has been completed.